Since Democratic Reform was launched in Tibet Autonomous Region in 1959, tremendous changes have taken place in this region. Great progress has been made in every area to enable Tibet to enter the best period of its development. What does this plateau look like? Let them tell you their stories about a real Tibet...
Indian journalist: Tibet, dream destination
As a journalist based in Nepal, Sudeshna Sarkar was excited when the world's highest railway service connecting Beijing with Lhasa was inaugurated two years ago. "It was like a dream coming true," the Indian journalist said, "Tibet is a dream destination for Indians. Every year, thousands of Indian pilgrims brave high altitude sickness and the biting cold to undertake the parikrama of the sacred Kailash mountain in Tibet."
American naturalist's story of Tibetan antelopes
"Changes can be found everywhere in Tibet, in wildlife's population, in local culture, in people's mind and government policies," said Schaller, 76, the vice-president of the Science and Exploration Program at the International Wildlife Conservation Society.
"The Chinese government has taken effective action to fight poaching and saved large number of the animal.Most of their habitats have been listed national-protected area. It's really a great achievement China has made."
American hotel-runner: Tibetan ethnic culture continues developing Modernization doesn't mean globalization or Americanization; instead, to be itself is the main principle for Tibet's development by any means, said Laurence Brahm, an old China hand from the United States.
"I found such a small sustainable economic development pattern in China's western minority areas has contributed to protecting native ethnic cultures and helped local people tap new sources of income according to local conditions. It's worth learning for those living on both sides of the Himalayas."
French reporter: railway leads Tibet into modernization
Tibet has splendid landscapes, temples, Buddhist monks, the Potala Palace and the Himalayas which dominate the roof of the world... Now that people can reach Tibet by train, tourists have flocked there.
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway was a technical and humanistic feat. Thousands of people had to work against all odds and overcome many problems, including breaking through permafrost and working under intense sunlight. In order to protect the fragile eco system, viaducts cross over sensitive areas.
New York music fan: Rock with Tibetan Buddhist culture
Eric Crown, a music fanatic from New York, once made a trip to Tibet's capital of Lhasa in quest of creative inspirations. He exclaimed in delight that in Tibet, he discovered something more important than what he was pursuing- the remarkable hospitality of the Tibetan people.
Immersed in incenses fragrance and surrounded by devout prayers, the man seemed to be suddenly fired with a steady flow of music inspirations.
Nepali businessman: Tibet benefits from modernization "The local people have benefited from the modernization, which itself won't change the Tibetan ethnic culture. Foreigners are fond of Tibet's aged architectures and handicrafts. However, it doesn't mean that Tibetans should not improve their living standards while continuing to follow their traditions."
"China and Nepal are friendly neighbors. The Chinese people pay close attention to the interests of those Nepali who come to China for business, providing them with favorable treatment."
Visitors share their experiences about Tibet
"Tibetans are very warm and loving. Each time I visited the school to meet the students, I was warmly greeted. They also presented me with Hada. It was this love of the students that encouraged me to make a trip to Tibet. And I made it."
"A trip to Tibet has always impressed Americans, but what attracted us most was the good services along the way provided to tourists."
"Tibet Diary": Tibet in American eyes
"I want to give some advice to people who visit Tibet: open your mind and cast aside your connatural concept on Tibet."
"I heard a Tibetan said that the help and financial assistance from the rest part of China to Tibet are indeed beneficial... I'm glad that such words could be heard directly from an ordinary Tibetan."
Frenchman living in Lhasa with French romance
"Welcome to our Happy Café to enjoy hot coffee, Lhasa beer..." Frenchman Fabrice greets everyone coming to his coffeehouse with a French-style hospitality.
When asked why not cooperate with others in running this café, the young man, pointing to his business license hung on the wall, said that he just wanted to tell others in this way that foreigners can also run their own businesses in this city.
Frenchman: Lhasa just like my hometown Annecy
"Tibet's capital of Lhasa is a leisure city, teeming with the flavor of life. Enjoying all kinds of convenience from its abundant living resources, I just feel at my hometown," French young man Emilien said with a smile.
All these high-tech achievements applied to people's daily life have striken a balance between economic development and environmental protection.
"It's really amazing!" he said.
Rumanian Ambassador: Right to education great progress in Tibet
What is worth special mentioning is that Tibet also has a university. Guaranteeing the local people's right to education has been an aspect of great progress in Tibet since the Democratic Reform.
Our Chinese friends asked us to visit any place as we liked, but not to disturb the worshippers. I was impressed by such care, which seemed to be a simple act but reflected great respect to religious belief and traditional customs.
Dutch scholar: People won't always be taken by Dalai's story
In recent years, with the bloom of the Tibetan ethnic culture, volumes of literatures have been published. And the Tibetan ethnic culture has been well preserved and passed on, Chen Shan Hwei, a Dutch-Chinese scholar,said in an interview with Xinhua.
Chen's husband Jan Willem Nienhuys said that reports in the western media "were written with an idea about the situatioin in Tibet and China which is quite different from reality."
Indian newspaper applauds China's democratic reform achievements in Tibet
The democratic reform in China's Tibet Autonomous Region abolished the theocratic system, did away with feudal serfdom and slavery, emancipated about a million serfs, and laid the basis for the modern development of the region as a part of the Chinese socialist system, an Indian newspaper said.
"History shows that resistance to anti-feudal reform was deeply entrenched in his ancient regime -- fusing the causes of separatism and the preservation of feudal serfdom and theocracy," said the editorial written by the newspaper's chief editor Narasimhan Ram.
Foreign media: serfs emancipation brings about great changes to Tibet
The website of the British paper The Times said in a story on the emancipation day that "It is an unsubtle message that Beijing rule has brought a prosperity and freedom unknown previously."
In a story, the Associate Press said that "Chinese rule has brought economic development, higher living standards and infrastructure to the remote Himalayan plateau where people traditionally eked out a living by farming and herding."
Russian reporter: Tibet's progress follows harmony notion "Tibet really has done a good job in development of modernization and protection of historical relics. In my opinion, this follows the concept of harmony." wrote Evgenij-Solovev, Beijing office head of Russian newspaper Russkiye Vedomosti.
"During my stay in Lhasa, I communicated with some locals. Those religious people talked freely, proving they enjoy full freedom of religion."
Russian reporter: Tibetans enjoy true religious freedom
"The Tibetan people were enjoying true freedom of religion after the abolishment of the feudal serfdom system." Vsevolod Ovchinnikov, a renowned Sinologist and chief reporter in China for former Soviet newspaper Pravda said in Moscow.
"I noticed, during my stay there, I, together with other foreign journalists, met Dalai Lama.When answering my questions, Dalai Lama expressed his gratitude to the Central People's Government for its protection of the freedom of religion in Tibet."
Former Mexican official: Wish Tibet better future!
"It seems to me that those who have never been to Tibet have no right to speak, for they don't know what Tibet really looks like; neither do they know all the efforts made by the Chinese Government for Tibet's construction and development. " Ismael Sergio Ley Lopez, the former Mexican Ambassador to China, said in Mexico City.
"A happy life can be found on people's faces as a result of economic integration of Tibet and the rest of China. From their smiles, I can read the happiness in their innermost hearts."
Foreigners asked to visit Tibet to experience traditional culture
Syroezhkin, chief researcher of the Presidential Strategy Institute of Kazakhstan, praised highly the protection of traditional Tibetan culture in Alma-Ata, capital of Kazakhstan.
"Influenced by the western media, I once doubted if the traditional culture had been well protected there. But now, what I want to say to all of you is that the Tibetan ethnic culture is in a good state of preservation. I hope those who really care about Tibet will be able to go there and solve the 'mystery' in their hearts."
Korean reporter: Trip to Tibet is unforgettable "In mid-September 2006, I flew from Beijing to Xining and then took a train to Lhasa, Tibet. This was an unforgettable trip that I had dreamed of for so long." "Lhasa has already been built into a modern city."
"I felt that Tibet has a stable society and the Han people and the Tibetans are living together harmoniously. Earth-shaking changes have taken place in Tibet over the past 50 years. Enjoying freedom of religious belief, the Tibetan people still preserve their religion and traditions."
Australian councilor: "Achievements for everyone to see"
"Tibet has made achievements in various fields," said Michael Johnson, Member of the Australian Parliament, in Canberra.
"Lhasa was so beautiful! Against the blue sky, white clouds and white snow, the Potala Palace appeared grand and majestic. With fragrant delicacies, bright-colored Tibetan dresses and Tibetan songs lingering in my ears, I was attracted to the unique charm of the Tibetan culture."
Foreigners get new view of Tibetan regions "What I saw here is quite different from what the Western media reported," said Mark Hiew, an Australian freelance writer, who visited a number of monasteries in Tibetan regions in 2007.
"When I was there, I was free to visit monasteries and local areas, and it didn't look to me like they were being outwardly oppressed at all. I saw stupas and prayer flags everywhere," he said.
Korean reporter: Lhasa's progress far beyond imagination
Lhasa's progress is far beyond imagination, Chang Sejeong, chief of Korea Central Daily's China Bureau, told People's Daily in Beijing.
"As a plateau city with an altitude of thousands of meters, Lhasa, though less developed than Beijing and Shanghai, has grown more rapidly than I expected. There, the cell phone signal is as good as in any inland city. You can surf the Internet smoothly and enjoy good sanitary conditions."
Brazilian scholar: Tibet sees notable progress since democratic reform
Tibet has achieved remarkable economic progress and undergone profound changes since 1959 when its democratic reform began, a Brazilian professor told Xinhua.
"There has been an accelerated growth in the tourism and infrastructure sectors in Tibet, as evidenced by the construction of Lhasa airport and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway," he said.
Tibet's biodiversity little known: U.S.-based Himalayan nature expert "Tibet has 40 percent of its land under conservation management, but its biodiversity and conservation successes are little known outside the region," said Robert Fleming, a Himalayan nature historian who works at the U.S.-based conservation group Future Generations.
"The Tibet Autonomous Region is one of the most innovative and successful conservation areas in the whole world -- certainly it is the leader for all of China with the most cost-effective approach."
Spanish Tibetologist: "What I see and hear in Tibet differs from Dalai Lama's propaganda"
"What I have seen and heard in Tibet completely differed from the distorted propaganda by the Dalai Lama," a renowned Spanish Tibetologist has said.
"I can speak Chinese and the Tibetan language and communicate well with the local people, so I can get first-hand materials about the region,"
French traveler: Tibetans are free, happy, sincere
Monmar Francis, a travel lover, still has a fresh memory of his Tibet visit. "Drive-travel in Tibet is impressive and miraculous, "
"I'm a man living on wheels to travel the world...And I think drive-travel in China's Tibet is the most impressive and miraculous."
"They are really free and happy!"
U.S. PhD student's romance with Tibet
A PhD Candidate of University of California-Los Angeles Heddabo Caiji told about her romance with Tibet in an interview by People's Daily in Los Angeles.
"After the performance, we kept in touch with each other and gradually I fell in love with this young Tibetan man...For the first time, I was able to have a close touch with the Tibetan culture."
Japanese reporter tells you a real Tibet
Japanese reporter Serita Shinichiro of Kyodo News Agency received an interview Monday by People's Daily about his journey to Tibet.
"For the first time I visited Tibet as a reporter. It's really a good opportunity to experience Tibet myself. In Lhasa, I was really fascinated by peaceful streets...It's evident that what painstaking efforts the Chinese government has made to eliminate the serfdom."
Russian reporter: "I read happiness in their life"
Maria Chaprytina of Russian News and Information Agency expressed her appreciation on Tibet's prosperity after a four-day visit. "How beautiful it is! Four days were too short for me to get an eyeful of the Tibet Autonomous Region."
"There is an interesting phenomenon that although the living standard in Lhasa is rising higher and higher, the local people still have the habit of saving money, never waste a penny at all. "
Swedish photographer: Ethnic culture in Tibet well preserved
Jan-Thomas Stake, a famous Swedish photographer, related his travel in Tibet when interviewed by the People's Daily in Sweden.
"When I zoomed in the Tibetans one after another, I could read such friendliness and placidity in their eyes...Many friends asked me about this trip. I told them Tibet is as beautiful as the paradise. It is a plateau of pure poetry with a long and unique culture and real happy life."
Leading Indian journalist checks reality in Tibet
A prominent Indian journalist rejected Tibetan independence "propaganda", saying the region's economic growth was good and atmosphere was "relaxed".
"Problems are largely in the minds of some sections abroad, 'make-believe Tibet', and the propaganda of the pro-independence movement of Dalai Lama," Narasimhan Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu, a leading English-language Indian daily, said.
Tibet in foreigner's eyes: from "propaganda" to "public relations"
China's move to arrange foreign reporters on a Tibet media tour shows its concept of foreign publicity has changed from one of "propaganda" to one of "public relations," according to a reporter of Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao.
"A Le Figaro reporter's birthday fell on the day. To his pleasant surprise, he received a birthday cake and a piece of hada -- a piece of silk presented to distinguished guests -- from the deputy secretary of TAR government."
Democratic reform: View Tibet with open vision A British visitor who asked to be anonymous said he has lived in China for eight years. He indicated his hopes that the western people, especially the young, should keep an open mind to learning about Tibet. "They should check the truth before they jump at a conclusion …"
"What they know about Tibet are but high mountains, blue skies… that's romantic, you know. The truth is under the complexity that you have to look into it."
Reporters witness great changes in Tibet A reporter from South Korea's SBS said "Seeing and hearing for myself changes that occurred to people living in here, I can tell local people's livelihood has been improving," he added.
A RAI reporter from Italy said: "Via introductions made by the Tibet Autonomous Regional Academy of Social Sciences, we have learned that the government has done a lot of research on the protection of Tibetan culture and has been working on it. That is a long and arduous task, but the government has done a really good job."
Tibet in general: history, society, religion, festival, ethinics
Old Tibet--A Society of Feudal Serfdom under Theocracy
Momentous Democratic Reform in Tibet
Tremendous Historic Changes over the Past Half-century