To achieve leapfrog development, Tibet should implement the concept of "inclusive growth," shedding greater efforts to improve living standards of relatively poor farmers and nomads, some Tibetologists in China suggested on Wednesday.
At the first Qomolangma Forum on Tibetology in Beijing, Xu Ping, a Tibet expert with the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said Tibet had made great economic progress since 2001 when the CPC Central Committee set an official goal to make "leapfrog development" in Tibet Autonomous Region.
However, Tibet was still less developed compared with other Chinese regions mainly because of its poor rural regions, Xu said.
"Tibet should prioritize development of its rural and nomadic areas as well as improve social welfare to allow more people of all ethnic groups to share greater benefits of the economic development," he said.
Chinese President Hu Jintao has pledged to adopt "inclusive growth," a concept created and advocated by the Asian Development Bank in 2007, for resolving social problems as a result of economic development.
According to Hu, inclusive growth means to spread the benefits of economic globalization and development among all countries, regions and people and to realize balanced economic and social progress through sustainable development.
In 2009, China's national urban-rural income ratio stood at 3.33 : 1, but the ratio in Tibet was higher at 3.82 : 1.
The urban-rural gap was listed as a major obstacle to Tibet's development by the China Tibetology Research Center in a 2009 report on Tibet's social and economic development.
Su Faxiang, a sociology professor with Minzu University of China, said at Wednesday's forum that it would be very difficult for Tibet to achieve leapfrog development if it failed to improve the living standards of farmers and nomads. The two groups account for about four fifths of the entire population in Tibet.
At its fifth working meeting on Tibet in January this year, the CPC Central Committee set an agenda to raise the income of farmers and nomads in Tibet to the average national level by 2020.
The two-day Qomolangma Forum on Tibetology was hosted by the China Tibetology Research Center and has drawn over 100 experts from Chinese higher-learning institutions.
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