China building ski resort in Tibet

The Tibetan capital of Lhasa is surrounded by towering mountains. Photo: xiquinhosilva/Flickr

While the discussion about China and Tibet usually revolves around things like human-rights violations, the Chinese are hoping to change that by building one of the highest ski resorts in the world within the area and turning it into a Himalayan skiing paradise.

Chinese officials announced Wednesday that, as part of the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), China will be constructing the highest ski resort in the country near Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet autonomous region.

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“With an average altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level, Tibet is rich in unique natural resources for ice and snow sports,” Nyima Tsering, deputy director of Tibet’s sports bureau, told China Daily. “Just as China is new to the winter sports game, Tibet also has a long way to go.”

Nyima added that he hoped for the ski resort to become a training ground for winter athletes for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, saying that it could help forward the prospects of Tibetan skiers in 2022.

With five mountains above 26,000 feet and more than 1,000 mountains taller than 19,000 feet, Tibet is one of the world’s highest and most mountainous regions and houses, along with neighboring Nepal, Mount Everest. Most interestingly, many in Tibet have long protested against the Chinese occupation of the region, accusing China of multiple and varied human-rights violations and unlawfully restricting Tibet from gaining political independence.

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