relocation of 2.3 million Tibetans http://wp.me/p7GpR4-qHD Martin Mills Dividing the Third Pole
Written by Martin Mills.
Over the last decade, the Tibetan Plateau has changed beyond recognition. In the place of the organic huddles of mud-brick villages and scattered nomadic pastoralist tents that characterised rural life on the Plateau for more than a thousand years, stand roadside lines of concrete and breezeblock housing estates. In the Tibetan Autonomous Region (which makes up much of the south of the Plateau), this is called the “Comfortable Housing Scheme”, designed to provide “moderately well-off” (xiaokang) housing for Tibet’s rural poor; in the northern Plateau, it is called the “Ecological Migration” scheme, meant to secure the great river sources that feed the Chinese mainland. Part of Beijing’s New Socialist Countryside strategy, it is designed to answer what the Party call the “problem of the rural” – a ‘problem’ that has emerged in the wake of the massive expansion of the core economies of China’s burgeoning urban centres. So far, these policies have seen the relocation of 2.3 million Tibetans, part of a massive strategic segmentation of the Plateau that places it at the heart of Beijing’s plans to control the centrifugal forces that beset the Middle Kingdom