China plans to spend 21 billion yuan on Tibet border villages.
The government in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has promised to build 624 new “well off” villages and farms on Tibet’s borders, Chinese state media and Tibet Watch have reported.
The plans are an effort to help secure Tibet, Tibet Watch said, adding some of the new “border defence villages” are on routes which Tibetans took in the past to escape to India and Nepal.
The settlements will involve 61,598 households and more than 240,000 people, with a total investment of around 21 billion yuan, Chinese state media said in 2019.
559 of the border villages were under construction in 2019 while 60 had been finished, the state media report said, adding, “Borders flourish, borders prosper… and border defenses solidify.”
China’s President Xi Jinping announced in 2014, “To govern the country well we must first govern the frontiers well, and to govern the frontiers well, we must first ensure stability in Tibet.”
The same year a notice was issued to protect border security. It offered locals reward money of 500 to 50,000 yuan for turning in criminals and passing on information to authorities, Tibet Watch said.
Crimes listed in the notice included illegal entry and exit at the border, propagation of reactionary information and self-immolation.
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