The minority region in Sichuan Province is of significant importance to the sustainable development and long-term political stability of China and Sichuan. The minority region is situated in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and Yellow River. It serves for important locations for water resources conservation of the Yangtze River, Yellow River and various tributaries, and also key locations for ecological protection and construction in China and Sichuan. 285,700 square kilometers of the Yangtze River basin (30% of the total basin area of the River) and 16,300 square kilometers of the Yellow River basin are covered in the minority region in Sichuan. Therefore, the ecological protection and construction of the minority region has not only long-term significance to the sustainable development of the region but also great importance to the sustainable development of Sichuan, ecological balance of the Yangtze River basin and the security of the Three Georges Dam. The minority region in Sichuan is connected to Chengdu Plain eastwards, to Gansu and Qinghai northwards, to Tibet westwards and to Yunnan southwards. It is situated in the southeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the northwestern edge of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the transitional region of the Sichuan basin, thus becoming the important passageway to the border area from the inland territory. Part of the Tibetan area in Sichuan was called “Kang” in history. So there used to be the historic saying “pacification of Kang before stabilization of Tibet”.
More than 50 years’ development and particularly the 30 years’ development after the reform and opening-up result in considerably stronger economic strength in the minority region in Sichuan and the GDP have reached a higher stage. There has been a sound momentum in the minority region of reinforced ecological protection and construction, steady growth of agricultural and animal husbandry production, ever-increasing industrial effects and rapid development of tourism. Fixed asset investment is rising quickly, key projects are making smooth progress, the Kangding Airport had a successful trial run and the expansion of the Jiuhuang Airport was completed and was open to traffic. There has been a continuous steady growth of fiscal revenues, the operation of the banking sector is satisfactory and social consumption remains stable with flourishing trend. All walks of life are thriving and people’s life is improving step by step. In the course of building a harmonious society and socialist new countryside, the party committees and governments at all levels base themselves on actual conditions, push forward the paces of quickened development, scientific development and desirable and fast development, and enforce the eleventh five-year plan and the program of “people’s well-being and social prosperity”. The “ten projects for people’s benefits” are carried out in an orderly manner, covering wide areas in minority region. The policy of “exemption of charges for textbooks and other miscellaneous charges and subsidy for living allowances for student boarders” is enforced to a full extent, and great progress has been made in vocational and technical education. The establishment of rural medical and health service system continues and such endemic diseases as Kashin-Beck disease have been contained effectively. Further achievements have been made in radio and TV broadcasting programs like the “Cun-cun tong” project (to extend radio and TV broadcasting coverage to every village) and “Tibet-Xinjiang” project. Poverty relief is constantly intensifying, the living conditions of people in poverty are gradually improving and people’s living standards have been remarkably raised. There emerges a desirable situation of economic development, ethnic solidarity and social stability in the minority region.