It is very rare for China to mention the ‘strategic importance of Tibet’, but it is what an article posted on the portal China Tibet Online recently did.
It explains: “Tibet’s strategic status is of great importance. It is an important national security barrier; an important ecological security barrier; an important reserve base for strategic resources; an important base for agricultural products; an important area for the protection of China’s unique ethnic culture and a popular tourist destination.”
It then develops each of these strategic areas.
Why to mention this now?
One of the reasons is the forthcoming 6th Tibet Work Forum which will decide the direction Tibet takes during the next decade.
The ‘opening’ of Tibet towards Central and South Asia will be probably one the main decisions taken during the Forum.
Tibet could become central to the promotion of President Xi Jinping’s pet project, ‘One Belt, One Road’.
The article calls Tibet a ‘strategic focal point’ for the scheme.