Chinese Premier completes secretive Tibet visit

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang greeting tourists while visiting Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet on July 26, 2018. Image: Xinhua/Yin Bogu

DHARAMSALA, July 30: The Chinese Premier has secretly visited Tibet and asserted that he hopes Tibet can stick to the strategies and policies of the Communist regime for development and prosperity.

Li Keqiang’s rare visit to Tibet is the first publicly reported visit by a Chinese premier to the remote Himalayan region in recent decades, reported. Li’s visit to Tibet from July 25 to July 27 was not officially revealed until yesterday, two days after the trip ended.

The itinerary of Chinese Premier saw him visit the site for the construction of a major tunnel for a new railway link with Sichuan Province, as well as the capital Lhasa and the southern prefectures of Nyingtri and Lhoka and vowed to boost infrastructure investment to improve the economy and called for ethnic unity between Tibetans and the Han Chinese during his Jul 25-27 visit to Tibet, the report noted.

While senior Chinese leaders do visit the region on major anniversaries, presidents or premiers seldom make the trip. President Xi Jinping visited Lhasa in 2011, when he was vice-president, for the 60th anniversary of communist troops entering Tibet, the report concluded.

During his visit to Tibet, the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has expressed the hope that Tibet can stick to strategies and policies of the Communist Party of China to achieve development and prosperity, safeguard national unity, enhance solidarity among ethnic groups, promote social and economic development, and maintain lasting peace and stability in Tibet, Chinese state media Xinhua reported.

Li has also visited Potala; the winter palace of the Dalai Lama built in the 7th century and Jokhang Temple; Tibet’s most sacred temple in Barkhor Square in Lhasa. During his visit to the latter, the Chinese Premier who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, cited the Communist Regime’s core argument for its every territorial dispute and stated that Tibet has been an ‘inalienable part’ of China since ‘ancient times’.

Other Politburo members of the Chinese communist party to have visited Tibet includes Jiang Zemin and Hu Yaobang as party general secretary in 1990 and 1980 respectively.

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