China: Party chief of Tibet answers questions on media open day

BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) — Nearly 130 journalists on Wednesday attended an open-door discussion of the Tibetan delegation to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing.

Among a total of 61 participating media outlets, 48 were from overseas. Issues concerning “closure of the Qomolangma base camp,” travel to Tibet and Tibetan language education were raised during the Q&A session.

Tourist activities have always been banned in the core zone of Qomolangma according to the law, so the claim that the Qomolangma base camp is “permanently closed” is a misunderstanding, said Wu Yingjie, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Tibet Autonomous Region, adding that those who have permit for climbing or scientific activities will not be affected.

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Wu also said China has carried out and will continue its clean-up efforts to keep the world’s highest mountain clean.

In response to questions concerning traveling to Tibet, Wu said: “As far as I know, several American officials and a group of foreign journalists are currently in Tibet for sightseeing or reporting.”

“Any foreigners who wish to visit Tibet can apply through normal channels, and a large number of foreigners, many from the United States, visit Tibet each year,” said Wu.

When asked about Tibetan language learning, he said the regional government has introduced regulations to promote Tibetan language and culture.

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“We even send Tibetan language teachers out to make sure Tibetan students studying in other provinces take Tibetan language lessons,” Wu said.

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