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White Paper 2000: The Development of Tibetan Culture
June 2000



White Paper 2000: The Development of Tibetan Culture 



I. The Spoken and Written Tibetan Language Is Widely Studied and Used, and Being Developed
II. Cultural Relics and Ancient Books and Records Are Well Preserved and Utilized
III. Folk Customs and Freedom of Religious Belief Are Respected and Protected
IV. Culture and Art Are Being Inherited and Developed in an All-Round Way
V. Tibetan Studies Are Flourishing, and Tibetan Medicine and Pharmacology Have Taken On a New Lease of Life
VI. Popular Education Makes a Historic Leap
VII. The News and Publishing, Broadcasting, Film and Television Industries Are Developing Rapidly

Information Office of the State Council
of the Peoples Republic of China
June 2000, Beijing



China is a united multi-ethnic country. As a member of the big family of the Chinese nation, the Tibetan people have created and developed their brilliant and distinctive culture during a long history of continuous exchanges and contacts with other ethnic groups, all of whom have assimilated and promoted each other's cultures. Tibetan culture has all along been a dazzling pearl in the treasure-house of Chinese culture as well as that of the world as a whole.

The gradual merger of the Tubo culture of the Yalong Valley in the middle part of the basin of the Yarlung Zangbo River, and the ancient Shang-Shung culture of the western part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau formed the native Tibetan culture. In the period of the reign of Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century, Buddhism was introduced to the Tubo people from the Central Plain of China, India and Nepal, and gradually developed into Tibetan Buddhism with its distinctive characteristics. At the same time, the Indian and Nepalese cultures of South Asia, the Persian and Arabic cultures of West Asia and especially the Han Chinese culture of the Central Plain had considerable influence on the development of Tibetan culture. In the long process of Tibetan cultural development, Tibetan architecture art and the plastic arts such as sculpture, painting, decoration and handicrafts, as well as music, dance, drama, spoken and written language, literature in written form, folk literature, Tibetan medicine and pharmacology, astronomy and the calendar all reached very high levels.

Tibet later became a local regime practicing a system of feudal s