July 12,2017--From June 26 to 30, a 22-strong delegation consisting of diplomats from 15 EU member states including the United Kingdom, Portugal, Slovakia, and EU delegation to China took part in a five-day exchange visit to Lhasa and Nyingchi in southwest China's Tibet.
"The whole delegation have been really looking forward to this trip to Tibet; it has been an unforgettable experience over the last four days and it's a shame that this is last night," Hans Dietmar Schweisgut (Chinese name Shi Wei) , EU ambassador to China, expressed his feelings towards Tibet in his dinner speech in Nyingchi on the evening of June 29.
The delegation visited Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Tibet University, Dobu Hydropower Station, Lulang International Tourism Town, Tashigang Village Family Hotel, Mainling Farm and other places. The trip covered many areas including economy, culture, education, ecology, tourism, etc. Through these site visits, the delegation fully affirmed the harmony and stability of Tibet's society, the rapid economic development, the happiness of the people, protection of cultural heritage, freedom of religious belief and the good ecological environment.
Focus 1: Tibetan Buddhist culture
The first stop for the delegation was to visit the Potala Palace. They were full of praise for the magnificent architecture, fine artifacts and long history.
Schweisgut said, "Tibet has a long cultural history and religious heritage. Potala Palace was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and protection of it benefits Tibet, China and the whole world." "I have been in China for four years and have been longing to travel to Tibet, to witness the real Tibet first-hand. Now that I've seen it, I can say I'm a huge fan of the place. Potala Palace is beautiful and the beauty is so real," said Valencia, Spanish Ambassador to China.
Afterwards, the delegation visited Jokhang Temple and Sera Monastery. "Tibetan Buddhism has a long history, with Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple both having thousands of years of history. Having these temples preserved well today is really great for believers who come to pay tribute and worship. Seeing all these believers come here to worship and pray for their families indicates religious freedom in Tibet. Tibet is the closest place to heaven on earth," said Premoze, Slovenian ambassador to China, who has a strong interest in Tibetan Buddhist culture.