VIENNA, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- A visiting Chinese
delegation of Tibetologists met with Austrian media Tuesday, giving an account
of Tibet's situation and frankly answering questions from journalists.
Journalists from Austria's leading media, including
the Austrian Press Agency and the newspaper die Presse, and some local Chinese
media attended the meeting at a press club in Vienna.
Shen Kaiyun, head of the delegation, said the
democratic reform in 1959 overthrew old Tibet's theocratic system, a regime
similar to that in the Middle Ages of Europe.
Over the past 50 years, Tibet has witnessed a huge
economic and social progress, he said.
When answering questions raised by Austrian
journalists, Shen refuted some Westerners' claim that the March 14 riots in
Lhasa were mainly triggered by Tibetans' dissatisfaction with the immigration of
many Han people, who allegedly occupied their living space.
He said that in fact, the Han people only account for
about 5 percent of Tibet's current population of 2.84 million.
Dawa Ciren, a member of the delegation, said China's
central government has made a huge investment in the social and economic
development in Tibet.
Great achievements have been made in such fields as
infrastructure construction, health care, education, environmental protection,
culture and religion, he said.
However, Dawa Ciren said, some people always look at
all these achievements with prejudice and distort facts intentionally.
Tibetans are not at all discriminated in China, said
Eri Hangdan, another delegation member, adding that on the contrary, they can
enjoy various favors in birth control, education, employment and business.
Governments at all levels have also attached great
importance to the protection, collection and study of Tibet's culture, he said.
Eri Hangdan said the application of some
representative works of the Tibetan culture, such as the epic King Gesar, for
the UN Intangible Cultural Heritage is being carried out actively.
Late Tuesday, the delegation also had a meeting with
teachers and students from the Confucius Institute of the University of Vienna,
exchanging views on issues like Tibet's current situation and challenges.
The delegation arrived in Vienna Sunday for a
three-day visit to Austria.