China celebrates 50th anniversary of Tibet autonomy
LHASA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The square in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, hosted a grand ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the region's founding.
Thousands of people gathered in front of the landmark, waving national flags and cheering like they were ushering in a new year.
Top Chinese political advisor Yu Zhengsheng headed a 65-member delegation from the central government.
The delegation presented Tibetan authorities with a plaque inscribed with President Xi Jinping words: "Enhancing ethnic unity, building a beautiful Tibet."
Yu, chair of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also delivered a keynote speech.
"Border areas must be well managed to successfully govern the country, and stability in Tibet is paramount to the management of these areas," Yu said.
Tibet has entered a new stage of sustained stability after people of all ethnic groups together fought separatism, successfully foiling sabotage attempts by the 14th Dalai Lama group and international hostile forces, he said.
China will continue to crack down on all kinds of separatist activities, the top political advisor said.
He urged local authorities to manage religious affairs according to law.
Yu, who is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, also called for improved ethnic solidarity, calling it a "lifeline", and enhanced national identity.
Tibet Autonomous Region was founded on Sept. 1, 1965, after the establishment of the regional People's Congress, the local legislature, meant that the people of Tibet could elect deputies to the congress.
After Yu's speech, more than 6,000 civilians, and army and government staff joined a parade featuring singing, dancing and the release of colorful balloons.