China creates new county in Tibet’s Nagchu Prefecture

TibetanReview: China has on Jan 24 announced the creation of a new county, in Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) following its approval by the State Council, China’s cabinet. Tibetans living in Shuanghu, a bleak area in northern part of TAR, will find their hometown upgraded to become the world's highest county, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 25. It may take half a year to build up the necessary administrative arms, Namphe, head of Shuanghu's CPC committee, has said.

The creation of the new county – the 11th in the prefecture and 72nd in the TAR – was announced by the regional government chairman Padma Choling during his delivery of a government work report at the yearly session of the region's legislature which opened Jan 24, the report said.

The report cited Padma, 71, head of the village of Gasor in Shuanghu and one of the first generation of 5,000 Tibetans from Shantsa County to be ordered to moved to the region in 1976, as saying he felt that his lifelong dream will come true. "It took us a year to migrate on foot from nearby Shantsa County to the wasteland and settle down. Over the past decades, we've built our home here from nothing."

With an average altitude of 5,000 meters and an average temperature of minus 13 degrees Celsius, the 116,000-sq km region has extremely thin air and adverse weather, making it all but habitable for most, the report added.

The county included seven villages and has a population of 12,000.

The region was earlier, in Aug 1993, upgraded to a special administrative district, the only one of its kind in the TAR, with its affairs being managed by departments in the nearby Nyima County, located some 300 km away.

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