China intends to invest 13 milliard dollars between now and 2010 to improve the infrastructures in Tibet. As a matter of comparison, over a twelve-year period up until 2005, China invested only 6.3 milliard dollars in Tibet. 180 projects are being financed; roads will link 80% of the villages on the Roof of the World. The whole population will have clean drinking water. The highest airport in the world will be built, and 300 extra kilometres will prolong the railway opened this year between Lhassa and Peking.
Other projects concern free schooling for all children, the protection of the environment, and the beginnengs of a social security and retirement pension programme. But to be honest, these benefits are not a gift, Tibet being the poorest province in the country, which invests more easily elsewhere than in these far-away mountains, difficult to access.
The State hopes for the deveolpment of tourism and also an easier exploitation of the immense mining resources of the region. It also hopes to be reconciled with Tibetans, and that they should forget the Dalai Lama. 500 Tibetans recently demonstrated near Lhassa. These investments do not convince Tibetans in exile, who sees a subtle sinisation of Tibet.