“My goal is to gather as much information about Tibet as possible, especially through intensive field trips which will help me from my own picture that is as close to reality as possible.” Markus Rudolf sets himself a small goal for his travels around Tibet.
Rudolph is a China expert for the executive committee of foreign affairs and security at the German Christian Democratic Union of Germany in Hamburg. In July he attended the “China Tibet Development Forum” in Lhasa.
“I’ve once been to Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and the mysterious Shangri-la. This is my first visit to Tibet this year and I visited Lhasa and Lhoka(Shannan).
Western media’s portrayal of Tibet's politics, culture and economy are very one-sided. Unfortunately, those media coverage are easily believed by many westerners, consciously or subconsciously,” said Rudolph in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.
“I felt the importance of education in Tibet. High-quality education can effectively improve long-term prosperity in the region, as a good education is the foundation for social well-being.”
At a vocational training center in Lhasa, Rudolph saw more than 4,500 young people receiving systematic, rigorous vocational training, including hotel catering, fire fighting, construction and other fields. This training will allow them to find a suitable job in the future.
Rudolph said that schools in Tibet are doing their best to lighten the students’ families financial burden, in order to prevent them from dropping out due to financial difficulties.
He also discovered that due to low population density in Tibet, some children live far from the school, so they’ve implemented a boarding system to alleviate the problem.
In Tibetan monasteries he saw that ancient Tibetan books have been repaired and increasing numbers of young people, with encouragement from the government, are learning and carrying forward traditional Tibetan crafts.
Apart from education and culture, Tibet’s high-level infrastructure construction also impressed Rudolph. “Some of roads are even of a higher level than German roads. There is also a newly built railway, power transmission tower and communication network …”
In Rudolph’s view and in the context of globalization, language provides an opportunity. In addition to learning Tibetan, the youth of Tibet are also learning Mandarin and English.
“As more and more Tibetans are reaping rewards from education, they will have more opportunities to stimulate economic growth,” said Rudolph, “Tibet is currently on the right path.”