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Pollution shrouds Tibetan capital, grounding flights

China's pollution reached new heights on Friday, as the Tibetan capital of Lhasa was shrouded in a cloud of dust that halted flights and rendered one of its most-recognisable landmarks nearly invisible. Lhasa, which at 3,700 metres (12,000 feet) above sea level is one of the highest cities on the world, was named by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection last month as one of 10 cities with the country's best air quality.

China-India border trade booms

LHASA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- China-India border trade in Renqinggang market in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region posted a 23.3 percent rise in 2013, local authorities said Wednesday. Renqinggang saw trade volume reach 86.8 million yuan (about 14.3 million U.S. dollars), about 54 times that when the post reopened in 2006, a spokesman with the region's commercial department said. Imports totaled 72.4 million yuan while exports were a mere 14.5 million yuan, official statistics suggests.

Tibetan medicine database to be built

LHASA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- A database specializing in Tibetan medicine will be built by 2015 as Tibet Autonomous Region's health sector becomes more digitalized, the region's culture authorities announced on Wednesday. The database, based in the Library of Tibet, will have information on pharmacology, the effects of pharmaceutical products and the composition of Tibetan medicine. This will help researchers gain knowledge about the traditional medicine, a statement from the region's culture department said.

"Tibet's Three Gorges Dam" starts generating electricity

LHASA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Pondo Water Control Project, the largest water control project in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, started generating electricity on Tuesday. Its first generating unit, with an annual electricity generation capacity of 150 million kilowatt hours, was put into operation at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday, said Tang Quanyong, deputy head of the project administration bureau. The other three generating units are expected to start operations in June 2014, said Tang.

Wild animals double in Tibetan nature reserve

LHASA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The populations of wild Tibetan antelopes, donkeys and yaks in a nature reserve in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region have roughly doubled thanks to effective protection efforts in the past 20 years, showed figures released on Tuesday. The number of Tibetan antelopes in the area has increased to 150,000 from 80,000 when the Qiangtang Nature Reserve was established in 1993. Wild yaks and Tibetan donkeys have increased to 40,000 and 90,000 respectively, compared with 20,000 and 50,000 at the establishment of the reserve.

Tibet's A-share-listed companies valued at 73.4 bln

LHASA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The ten A-share companies in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region had a total market value of 73.41 billion yuan (about 12.04 billion U.S. dollars) by Nov. 30. The figure is 4.7 percent higher than the region's gross domestic product (GDP) for last year, according to the regional securities regulatory bureau. The companies' total market value at the end of 2012 was 81.65 percent of the region's GDP that year.

Around China: When traffic jams in Tibet

LHASA, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The standard outfit for a Tibetan man was once a "horse, gun and clasp knife". Now a car (and some time to kill in traffic jams) is the latest lifestyle choice on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. As of Nov. 30, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region had 307,170 registered vehicles, 16 percent up on last year. With a population just a shade over 3 million, this means that about one in ten people in Tibet own a car. In 2000 and 2006, the figures were one person in 34 and one in 20.

Tibet's 1st extradosed bridge opened to traffic

LHASA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The first extradosed bridge in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region opened to traffic on Wednesday amid expectations that it will boost local tourism. The 1.28-km-long Ngaqen Bridge above the Lhasa River in the eastern suburbs of the regional capital Lhasa, has six lanes and a 33-meter-wide roadbed, and is designed to accommodate vehicles at speeds of 60 km per hour. Construction began on the bridge in March 2011. It cost about 370 million yuan (60.3 million U.S. dollars).

China's last county finally linked by road

The last county in China to be accessible by modern land transport was finally linked up to the rest of the country Thursday with a new road that has taken decades to build, state media said. The 19,000 people of deeply isolated Medog in southeastern Tibet, where the mighty Brahmaputra river -- known as the Yarlung Zangbo in China -- winds its way between towering Himalayan peaks, have until now had to depend on horses for land travel and trade.

Disabled Frenchman makes record jump over Everest

A French multiple sclerosis sufferer Sunday became the first disabled person to skydive over Mount Everest, successfully completing his landing before being taken to hospital as a precaution. "I feel very happy. I am exhausted but very happy," Marc Kopp said from a hospital bed in Kathmandu where doctors examined him for any injuries sustained during the jump.
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