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China’s Xi Jinping visits Tibet for first time as president

China’s Xi Jinping visits Tibet for first time as president

The Chinese leader visited the Tibet Autonomous Region on July 21-22, Xinhua news agency reported. That was President Xi Jinping’s first recorded visit as leader of the nation.

Earlier, Xi has already visited the Tibetan region in 2011 as vice president. Ten years after, he flew into the city of Nyingchi on Wednesday and took a train to the capital Lhasa the following day.

The Chinese President was set to visit a monastery and the Potala Palace Square, the traditional home of Dalai Lama, a Tibetan Buddhism’s spiritual leader. Now, he is in exile and has been branded a dangerous separatist by Beijing.

In Nyingchi, President Xi also inspected rural rejuvenation and environmental protection.

China has a strategic interest in Tibet

Tibet located on China’s border with India remains an important region to Beijing. Last year China and India saw the most serious clash in decades on their disputed border in the Himalayas, with deaths on both, Tibet and China.

On July 22nd, Xi was accompanied by Zhang Youxia, a vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission and a senior general in the People’s Liberation Army, during his visiting Tibet.

Beijing sent troops into Tibet in 1950 in what it officially terms a peaceful liberation and maintains a heavy security presence in the region, which has been prone to unrest.