Noong Enero 11, 2019, inilabas ng pahayagang "South China Morning Post" ng Hong Kong ang artikulong pinamagatang "Ang hakbanging panturismo ng pamahalaang Tsino sa Tibet na nakatuon sa mga dayuhan ay itinuturing na hakbanging ekonomiko, sa halip ng reaksyon sa presyur na pulitikal." Ito'y isinulat ng isang mamamahayag na si Laurie Chen.
Ipinalalagay ng nasabing artikulo na ang pagpapaikli ng Tsina ng panahon sa pag-aaplay ng visa ng mga turistang dayuhan upang makabisita sa Tibet ay alang-alang sa dahilang ekonomiko. Ang aksyong ito ay hindi lamang nagpapakita ng lubos na kompiyansa ng pamahalaang Tsino sa kalagayan ng Tibet, kundi makakapagpasulong din sa pag-unlad ng turismo ng lugar.
Narito po ang link at buong teksto ng nasabing artikulo:
A) Beijing's decision to slash waiting times for foreign tourists applying to visit Tibet was motivated by economic considerations.
Beijing's decision to slash waiting times for foreign tourists applying to visit Tibet reflects the authorities' confidence and was likely motivated by economic considerations rather than political pressure from Washington, analysts said.
Qizhala, the chairman of the autonomous region, said the government planned to increase tourist numbers to more than 40 million this year and halve waiting times for foreign travel permits, the official Tibet Daily reported on Friday.
Foreign access to the remote, mountainous western region is highly restricted for journalists, diplomats and researchers working on sensitive topics. Non-Chinese tourists need special permits and are only allowed to enter as part of an approved group tour.
In December, US President Donald Trump signed into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act in a bid to press China to allow more access to Tibet. The new law authorizes the US to identify Chinese officials responsible for blocking entry of American citizens to Tibet and ban those officials from entering the United States.
B) Analysts say relaxation of restrictions reflects the Chinese government's confidence.
Kerry Brown, director of the Lau China Institute at King's College London, said Beijing's move was a "calculated risk" which "makes economic sense" for the largely deprived region that is rich in natural scenery.
"It's also a testament to the fact that the central government in Beijing thinks they have pacified the area and the issues in the past have been made manageable. It shows a lot of confidence that they're able to relax these long-standing restrictions," Brown said.
"It's serendipitous that it happened to seem like China was doing something the Americans asked, because they can then use that in US negotiations," he added.
Beijing slams US legislation demanding easier access to Tibet for American journalists, tourists.
Yuan Zheng, a US affairs specialist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, also believed the decision was not a response to foreign pressure.
"The question of Tibet is an internal matter for China. Any foreign organisations or governments have no power to intervene – this is a matter of principle [to the Chinese government]," Yuan said.
"Tibet is open to foreigners and not completely closed. While following the demands of reform and opening to the outside world, the Chinese government will obviously consider international concerns, but I do not believe US pressure is responsible for this decision."
C) Travel agencies welcome plan to boost visitor numbers.
Travel agencies in Tibet welcomed the news.
"Before, we normally needed to apply for a permit a month in advance, but it will only take 15 days now," said Penpa Tsering from Easy Tibet Tours in Lhasa.
"Our business is definitely going to benefit in the future. For us it's very good news, not only for the tourism market but for travelers around the world."
Tenzin, a travel agent with Tibet Songshan Travel, was also happy about the easier access.
"It depends on your itinerary. If you are going to go to a remote area, it may take about 20 days [now] to process a travel permit," he said.