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Tibet to restore damaged 'revolutionary' tourist sites
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Tibetan authorities are beginning restoration work on former residences and office buildings of some of the first Communist Party members to be sent to Tibet in the early 1950s, which have been turned into "revolutionary" tourist attractions.


"The government has worked out a list of the revolutionary sites which need restoring and the second list is soon to be submitted," said an official with the Tibetan Regional CPC Committee.


The sites on the first list include the "General's Building", the temporary residence of Zhang Guohua, the army commander of theNo.18 Troop of the People's Liberation Army. It was built in Bomi County, in Nyingchi Prefecture, as the military marched on Lhasa in 1951.


It is joined on the list by the headquarters of the No. 18 Troop, the first PLA regiment to enter Tibet.


Also set for repairs is the former office building of Zhang Jingwu, the only deputy to the central government in Tibet from the liberation in 1951 to 1965 when the Tibet Autonomous Region was established. The building is located in Lhasa and was opened to the public in September 2006.


The first village party branch, opened in Kesong village, Nedong county in December 1959, and put on show to tourists in Maylast year, is another site to be restored.


"Those buildings have been poorly maintained in recent years and some of them were damaged to some extent," said the official.


"By visiting the buildings, people can experience the hard times that their forefathers had to pull through and the sacrifices they made so that we can be inspired to treasure the peace and prosperity we have today."


"Red tourism" attractions have grown in popularity in recent years as more people seek to experience life in revolutionary times.


The main red tourism attractions include the Jinggang Mountain in eastern Jiangxi Province, known as the cradle of the Chinese revolution, and Shaoshan village, Chairman Mao's birthplace, in central Hunan Province.


(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2008)

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