BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Scholars attending a forum in Beijing on the development of Tibet said they were impressed with the development in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The forum on Tuesday brought together 150 officials, experts in various fields, and representatives of enterprises and media organizations from home and abroad to pool wisdom for the continued development of Tibet.
Prior to the forum, some attendees were invited to tour Lhasa and Nyingchi in Tibet, visiting places including villages, schools and communities.
Statistics show that Tibet made further progress in the development of its transportation infrastructure in 2022, bringing the total length of roads open to traffic to 121,400 kilometers. Last year, the plateau region invested almost 16.39 billion yuan (about 2.33 billion U.S. dollars) in fixed assets for road transportation.
Tibet had more than 9,500 5G base stations by the end of March, with the number of 5G users in the region nearing 1.03 million. In the meantime, the 5G network had covered the main urban areas of its 74 county-level areas.
Thanks to continuous investment and huge support from the whole country, Tibet has undergone rapid development over recent decades. By the end of 2019, the autonomous region had eradicated absolute poverty. Tibet's GDP increased from 71 billion yuan in 2012 to 208 billion yuan in 2021.
The average life expectancy in Tibet increased from just 35.5 years in 1951 to 72.19 years in 2021. Tibet is the first provincial-level region in China to provide 15 years of public-funded education, from kindergarten to senior high school.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service