What is a Tibet at Peace and sustainable?
Tibet's GDP in 2001 was 13.9 billion yuan (USD1.8billion). The Central government exempts Tibet from all taxation and provides 90% of Tibet's government expenditures.
The Tibetan economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Due to limited arable land, livestock raising is the primary occupation mainly on the Tibetan Plateau, among them are sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks and horses. However, the main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes and assorted fruits and vegetables. In recent years, due to the increased interest in Tibetan Buddhism, tourism has become an increasingly important sector, and is actively promoted by the authorities.
The Tibetan economy is heavily subsidized by the Central government and government cadres receive the second-highest salaries in China. Tourism brings in the most income from the sale of handicrafts. These include Tibetan hats, jewelry (silver and gold), wooden items, clothing, quilts, fabrics, Tibetan rugs and carpets.
The world's highest railway is now connecting Tibet with eastern Chinese provinces for the first time by rail. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which links the region to Qinghai in China proper, was opened in 2006. The Chinese government claims that the line will promote the development of impoverished Tibet. The Dalai Lama has urged monk Tibetans to "wait and see" what benefits the new line might bring to them. According to the Dalai Lama's spokesmen, the Dalai Lama welcomes the building of the railway, "conditioned on the fact that the railroad will bring benefit to the majority of Tibetans."
In January of 2007, the Chinese government issued a report outlining the discovery of a large mineral deposit under the Tibetan Plateau. The deposit has an estimated value of $128 billion and may double Chinese reserves of zinc, copper, and lead. China sees this as a way to alleviate the country's dependence on foreign mineral imports necessary for its growing economy. However, critics worry that mining these vast resources will harm Tibet's fragile ecosystem.
But the use of products from the local area is more environmentally friendly than importing products from a long distance. That is bceause the environmental footprint of transportation is much higher when importing from a long distance.
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