Beijing: The battle against separatism should be stepped up in Tibet where "ethnic unity, social harmony and stability is the lifeline," a top Chinese leader has said.
Underlining the importance of maintaining stability in the remote Himalayan region, Li Changchun, a Standing Committee member of the Politburo of the Communist Party`s Central Committee, said that improving people`s livelihood should always be "a top priority" for the Tibet government.
"Ethnic unity, social harmony and stability is the lifeline for Tibet," he said, adding that the ethnic unity education and the anti-separatism battle should be deepened.
Li was on a five-day visit to Tibet`s Nyingchi and Lhasa, the regional capital, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Li stressed on ethnic unity and cultural development in southwest China`s Tibet autonomous region, as well as building an "ideological basis" for anti-secession and stability maintenance, he said.
At Lhasa`s Potala Palace, Li praised its role in safeguarding national unification and ethnic unity. The Potala Palace was the residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising.
At the Jokhang Temple, Li gave offerings to the monastery, encouraging the monks there to be patriotic and devout and make contributions to ethnic unity and the ethnic cultural development.
The official also visited the headquarters of the Tibet Daily and its news website, asking the staff to "introduce a real and changing Tibet to the whole world."
Tibet should seize the opportunity of the implementation of the western development strategy, and innovative efforts should be made to promote the region`s leapfrog development and lasting stability, Li was quoted as saying.
China has often accused the exiled Dalai Lama for fomenting unrest in Tibet. Beijing has blamed the 77-year-old Buddhist monk for the series of self-immolations, which has created an image problem for the Communist giant.
Nearly three dozen Buddhist monks, nuns and Tibetan lay people have set themselves on fire over the past year in ethnic Tibetan areas of China accusing Beijing of pursuing repressive policies on religion and culture.