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30january20102Top Chinese officials are reportedly seeking the "leap frog" development of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) by raising infrastructure quality and agricultural incomes to national levels by 2020, according to a Xinhua news agency report.

The announcement came during a high-level planning conference on Tibet held from 18 to 20 January, attended by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

The report said such investments would help open Tibet to the outside world, restructure the region's industries and expand the job market to cater to the rising number of Chinese migrating to Tibet.

Tibet's current and future economic growth and political stability is a hotly contested topic. In 2008, mass demonstrations erupted in the capital of Lhasa and spread throughout Tibet, after thousands of Tibetans, include monks and women, were arrested by Chinese authorities for commemorating the  failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Communist rule. Last April, the Chinese executed four Tibetan men for participating in those protests.

But at the same time, China is claiming impressive economic growth in the region. “Tibet has been able to maintain double-digit growth in terms of GDP for 17 straight years, out-pacing the national average,” Xinhua reported. Tibet’s GDP was expected to top $5.85 billion in 2009, up 12.1 percent year-on-year and up 170 percent from 2000, according to the state-run news agency.

Tibetans on the inside reported that conditions in the region are “hell on earth”,  while Chinese regime claimed that $45.4 billion in aid to the TAR over the past nine years has helped “boost Tibet’s leapfrog development” and achieve “lasting stability.”

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