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08:16 Mar 26 2010

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Chinese delegation introduces Tibetan development to New Zealanders
08:15, March 26, 2010  

A Chinese National People's Congress delegation has updated New Zealand on the development of China's Tibet Autonomous Region during a visit to the Pacific island nation.

The delegation, led by Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, wrapped up their three-day visit in New Zealand on Thursday, after holding talks with Parliament Speaker Lockwood Smith, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade John McArthur, and opposition Labor Party's spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Ethnic Affairs Chris Carter on issues concerning the autonomous region's latest development.

Qiangba Puncog outlined the spirit of the Fifth Forum on Tibet Work, saying the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) had attached unprecedented importance to the forum.

The scale, standards and effectiveness of the meeting were unparalleled, Qiangba Puncog said.

The delegation said people from all ethnic groups in Tibet were now working to outline "The 12th Five-Year Plan" in line with the CPC Central Committee's requirements.

The goal of the plan was to drive a quantum leap in social and economic development, and guarantee national security and lasting political stability in Tibet. It also sought to improve the life of people from all ethnic groups and protect the region's environment.

Qiangba Puncog said the Dalai Lama group had over time engaged itself in organizing separatist activities, creating rumors and defaming the Chinese government and the Tibetan people.

However, the fact was the autonomous region's economy had kept double-digit growth for 17 years in a row, making it the most beneficial period for local residents, he said.

People's religious freedom was respected and places of religious worship and cultural activities were under a level of protection never seen before, he said, adding ethnic solidarity and harmony and common development had been achieved in Tibet.

Qiangba Puncog said he wanted New Zealand to have a clear view of the essence of the Dalai Lama group and provide no space for their separatist acts.

Smith and McArthur spoke highly of the Chinese central government's policy on Tibet and hailed the great achievements made in the autonomous region.

They said New Zealand, from government to parliament, adhered to the one-China policy, and agreed that Tibet was a part of China and Tibet-related issues were China's internal affairs.

During the visit, Qiangba Puncog was also interviewed by local media and attended an overseas Chinese forum.

Source: Xinhua

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