What’s in a name: SHIGATSE AND CHAMDO BECOME CITIES
China has declared Shigatse and Chamdo henceforth to be municipalities, rebadging not only two of the bigger towns in Tibet but their entire prefectures, which are largely rural, mountainous and mineraliferous. What to make of this? Just a shuffle of administrative nomenclature?
Hardly. In China’s system, municipalisation signals a momentous shift, not only away from the rural and towards an urban destiny, but from darkness to light, from backwardness to civilisation, from lagging to leading, from weak dependence on subsidy to a strong economy based on resource exploitation.[Source]