China's foreign minister Wang Yi makes rare visit to Tibet; emphasises security and stability
Beijing, Aug 17: China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi has made a rare visit to Tibet and the border areas last week and emphasised that the security and stability of the region are important to the overall development of the country, the official media here reported.
Wang, who is also a State Councillor of the ruling Communist Party of China, met with Tibet's Communist Party secretary Wu Yingjie and chairman of the Tibet regional government, Qizhala and other officials on Friday.
The security and stability of the region is important to the overall development of China, the Global Times quoted Wang as saying by the local Tibet Daily. Wang also visited the border areas to learn about the situation of poverty alleviation, infrastructure building and the construction of villages, the report said. Wang goes on special "research trips" to several Chinese regions every year, the report said.
Top Chinese leaders and officials visit Tibet annually but it is rare for the foreign minister to visit the remote Himalayan region. Wang said the government will work with people in Tibet to ensure regional stability, China's national security and support Tibet's opening-up and cooperation with the outside world, economic and social development. Wang also spoke about the current international situation, apparently referring to China-US diplomatic, political and trade tensions, which has led to a new low in bilateral ties in recent weeks.
China ordered the US to close the American consulate in Chengdu, located close to Tibet, in retaliation to Washington's move to shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston. Wang spoke about China's diplomatic efforts, saying that Tibet has made great achievements regarding economic development, stabilising and developing border areas, joining external cooperation and participating in projects under the Belt and Road initiative (BRI).
China is beefing up the border infrastructure in Tibet which shares a border with Nepal. Kathmandu is a signatory to the BRI under which Beijing has initiated a number of infrastructure projects, including building of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network through Tibet.