Tibet to spend big on fighting poverty

LHASA -- The government of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region plans to allocate 30 billion yuan ($4.3 billion) in 2017 to improve the lives of local residents.

According to the regional finance department on Thursday, nearly half of the funds will be channeled to eradicate poverty and subsidize residents in border areas.

About 6 billion yuan will be used to boost development in border areas and residents in border areas will see their living subsidies rise to up to 2,700 yuan.

Additionally, the standards for the minimum living allowance for urban and rural residents in the region have been raised to 700 yuan and 3,311 yuan a month, respectively, said Jiang Guojie, deputy head of the department.

The rest of the funds will also be used to improve financial aid in areas such as education, medical care, and social insurance.

Over the past four years, the regional government has earmarked over 70 percent of its revenue to improve people's livelihood, leading the country in providing 15 years of free education, collective support of poor senior citizens and orphans, and full and equal coverage of endowment insurance in urban and rural areas, Jiang said.