Strategic importance of Tibet

2015-07-27 14:14:00 | From:

Tibet’s strategic status is of great importance. It is an important national security barrier; an important ecological security barrier; an important reserve base for strategic resources; an important base for agricultural products; an important area for the protection of China’s unique ethnic culture and a popular tourist destination. Below are some strategic areas Tibet involves in.

"One Belt, One Road" strategic focal point

"One Belt, One Road" [Photo/Agencies]
"One Belt, One Road" [Photo/Agencies]

The "One Belt, One Road" strategy involves comprehensive opening up to the outside world and establishment of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. In the article published in March, "The visions and actions of promoting the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road", 18 provinces were directly mentioned. Tibet, adjacent to the "One Belt, One Road", certainly holds particular significance.

Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC)

In May 2013, Premier Li Keqiang put forward the BCIM-EC proposal in his visit to India, asking that India, Bangladesh and Myanmar respond positively. The proposal holds great significance for the deepening of friendly relations between the four countries and in driving the joint development of the three economic areas - South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia. Tibet is an important passage to South Asia and a crucial part of the "corridor".

Ethnic Tibetan, Qiang and Yi culture industry corridor

Historically, the ethnic Tibetan, Qiang and Yi culture industry corridor has been crucial for the migration and communication of many ethnic groups. It possesses a unique natural environment and rich cultural resources; it is an important historical and cultural deposition zone; and the pattern of development and construction of culture in the region hold a special status. The core area is located at the junction of Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai.

Source of Rivers Ecological Protection Zone

Source of rivers [Photo/]
Source of rivers [Photo/]

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is not only the source of some of Asia’s major rivers, such as the Yangtze, Yellow, Lancang-Mekong, Ganges and Indus, but it’s also one of the world’s most concentrated areas of biodiversity, so its ecological status is very important. In recent years, due to the combined effect of global warming and human intervention, the ecological environment at the Yangtze and Yellow River source areas has shown signs of serious damage and deterioration. The Source of Rivers Ecological Protection Zone was established to restrict environmental degradation and to restore and conserve the ecological environment.

Shangri-La eco-tourism circle

The Shangri-La eco-tourism circle includes the triangular border areas of Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan. It is the Yangtze River’s downstream soil and water conservation area and an important ecological barrier for a number of industries. It plays an important role in the modernization and sustainable development of China. It has already been listed as a key national tourist development area and has become a popular destination for domestic and foreign tourists.

China-India and China-Nepal border trade zones

Tibet has already opened border ports in Zham, Burang, Gyirong, Riwo and Nathu La. These ports are located on the overland route to South Asia and follow the same basic conditions as a comprehensive free trade zone or a border economic cooperation zone. They are the main distribution areas for trade along the China-India and China-Nepal borders. The Chinese government announced that, from the Jun. 22, China reopened the Sino-Indian border area Nathu La Pass to Indian pilgrims traveling to Tibet on pilgrimage. This news was greatly received by Indian pilgrims.

Some of the regional strategies mentioned above have already become national strategies; others have entered academic discussion or debate. Tibet is an important player in the history of the "Southern Silk Road", "Tang-Tubo Ancient Road" and the "Tea Horse Road". It is a vital communication hub for the adjacent provinces and autonomous regions on the "One Belt, One Road" strategic belt, including Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan. It is also an important gateway for exchange with South Asian countries, such as India, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan and others.

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