Lhasa started operating natural gas heating pilot units in “Lhasa Economic and Technological Development Zone” just days before a Chinese academy from the Central Party School sharply criticized the way the aid projects are carried out in Tibet.
While the heating system can benefit the residents in Lhasa during the cold winter reason, some observers question the relevance of such projects.
Dr. Andrew Fischer, a senior lecturer on Population and Social Policy at the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam in Netherlands argues that there are other needed areas that the money could have been spent on.
“They could direct it primarily towards education and health,” says Dr. Fischer.
In its article published on December 18, Caixin said that Jin Wei, the director of ethnic religious studies at the Central Party School, complained that many of the programs in Tibet “failed to factor in cultural contexts and relied on government-oriented measures.” She said that instead of helping Tibetan Autonomous Region become economically independent, it today heavily relies on the central government aids more than before.
Dr. Fischer said the 90 percent of Tibetans, who were farmers and nomads, were completely independent from government subsidies in 1960s. Today, he says, their dependency on the central government have increased and the number of farmers and nomads have dropped down to about 50 percent.