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MA MAIS C45 Z48 2008 (COL)
Masteral Thesis
China's development project in China: a study on the implications of mining project on the socio-economic condition of Tibetan households in Sangkar
by Zhuomacuo
130 p. ; 28 cm.

©2008 Published by The Author
Thesis:  (Master of Arts in International Studies) -- Miriam College, 2008.
ABSTRACT:  The rapid growth in China has led to the widening regional disparity between the rich and the poor, an undeniable fact of its current economic development. In order to mitigate this imbalance, the Chinese government launched the Western Development Strategy (WDS) in the year 2000 to accelerate the economic growth and development of the country's western regions, including the Tibetan regions both inside and outside of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). This qualitative, field-based research investigates the effects of a government sponsored mining project in partnership with the Deyang Gold Mining Company (DGMC) a development project initiated to improve the socio-economic condition of Tibetan nomads in Sangkar, Western China. It focuses on the following questions: Given the prevailing exclusion of Tibetans, how did the government recognize the equal rights of Tibetan citizens to be employed in the mining operations? What specific company practices sow the extent to which Tibetans were either accommodated or discriminated against in the process of the mining project's implementation? These issues were explored from a micro socio-economic perspective based on the use of household level data that the researcher gathered from key informant interviews of local community members as well as qualitative observations derived from field research. The collected information was analyzed to identify dominant socioeconomic conditions and cultural themes that characterize the lives of Tibetans and help determine the effects of the development project on the affected community. The study reveals that the opening of the mines and the migration of more Chinese workers to Sangkar disadvantaged the Tibetans who were already marginalized in a mixed Tibetan and Chinese population. The implementation process of the development project demonstrated poor recognition of Tibetan citizenship rights. Local Tibetans were not included in the decision making processes for the planning and implementation of the mining development project for which they were supposed to be beneficiaries. Thus, they were deprived of equal opportunity for employment as the mining operations continuously produced detrimental effects for Tibetans. As a nomadic people who depended on the grasslands, the Tibetans of Sangkar were mostly illiterate and possessed only subsistence production skills compared to the Chinese migrants who had attained higher education and possessed the specialized skills required in mining projects. Thus, Chinese migrant workers were favored and given better employment opportunities. These factors were not anticipated or later on addressed and thus created and sustained the marginalization of Tibetans in their own land. Research findings also show that the mining project negatively affected the socio-economic conditions of members of the local Tibetan communities affected by the mining operations. This was apparent in the sharp decline in their household production and annual income in contrast with the increase in household expenditures especially in health care and education as well as loss of access to common property such as grasslands and other natural resources. Overall, the mining project increased the social exclusion of Tibetans because of the government's neglect in pursuing policies to prevent and eliminate unequal competition in the enjoyment of development benefits among a mixed population within a scarcity of employment opportunities.
Book ID 1000113356
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