Aerial photo taken on Nov. 23, 2020 shows a view of Lhasa City, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Purbu Zhaxi)
LHASA, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The gross domestic product (GDP) of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region grew 7.8 percent in 2020, said Qizhala, chairman of the regional government.
Tibet's GDP surpassed 190 billion yuan (around 29.2 billion U.S. dollars) last year, Qizhala said in his government work report delivered Wednesday at the fourth session of the 11th People's Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region.
Per capita disposable income for the region's rural residents grew 12.7 percent, while that for urban residents rose 10 percent.
The chairman hailed the tremendous progress Tibet has made in poverty alleviation, noting that the per capita annual net income of the region's registered poor population has exceeded 10,000 yuan.
"Over half a century ago, a democratic reform liberated more than 1 million Tibetan people from feudal serfdom," said Qizhala. "Today, the region has resolved the millennia-old issue of extreme poverty."
The regional government has set Tibet's GDP growth target in 2021 at more than 9 percent, said Qizhala, adding that the per capita disposable income of the region's urban and rural residents in 2021 is expected to grow 10 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
Qizhala said the region aims to create 50,000 urban jobs and ensure that the registered unemployment rate stands at around 5.5 percent.
Nijia (1st L) and his family members pose for a photo in front of their house at the Rongma relocation settlement, a local poverty alleviation project, in Gurum Township of Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, April 2, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhan Yan)
While striving to develop the economy and improving people's livelihoods, the regional government has also made ecological conservation a priority.
In Tibet, a total area of 539,000 square km has been put under a red-line protection initiative for conserving ecology, accounting for 45 percent of Tibet's total area, Qizhala said in the work report.
In 2021, the regional government will start the planning and construction of the Tibetan section of Sanjiangyuan National Park and apply for the building of national parks around the Mount Qomolangma and in Qiangtang, said Qizhala.
"Tibet is situated at the core area of the 'world's third pole.' Protecting Tibet's environment is of strategic significance to ensuring the ecological balance of the world," said Logyai, head of the regional bureau of ecology and environment.
Tibet has promulgated over 60 regional laws and regulations that will provide the legal guarantee for ecological protection on the plateau, said Logyai.