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China's Tibet sees GDP up 7.2 pct in Q1******
LHASA, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The gross domestic product (GDP) of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region totaled 144.04 billion yuan (about 22.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of 2021, up 7.2 percent year on year, local authorities said Saturday.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the region's average GDP growth for the past two years reached 6.7 percent by the end of September, according to the regional statistics department.
The value-added output of major industrial enterprises in Tibet increased by 13.8 percent year on year during the period, up 21.9 percent from the first three quarters of 2019.
The region received 36.89 million domestic and overseas tourists in the first three quarters this year, up 15.2 percent year on year. Tourism revenue from January to September surged 26.6 percent from a year earlier to 42.4 billion yuan.
The region also saw strong consumption demand, with its retail sales of consumer goods increasing by 8.6 percent year on year to 55.88 billion yuan.
Li Fangping, the deputy head of the Tibet survey office of the National Bureau of Statistics, said Tibet's economy grew steadily between January and September with the income of locals continuing to rise. Enditem
Scholz pledges support for stronger Europe during first trip abroad as German chancellor******
New German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gives a press conference with NATO Secretary General after their bilateral meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on December 10, 2021.。
After a long day of discussions in Paris and Brussels on Friday, new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country is ready to work closely with the European Union and other member states to make Europe "strong and sovereign."
Scholz, who was sworn in on Wednesday as the successor of Angela Merkel, followed in his predecessor's footsteps in making France the first stop during his first-ever trip abroad as chancellor.。
During his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Scholz pledged to work with France on the major challenges confronting the EU. The two leaders discussed the future of the EU with regard to immigration, new sources of energy, border protection and relations with third countries.。
Macron told a press conference after the meeting that he had seen "a convergence of views, a desire to have our countries work together, and a firm and determined belief in Europe, which I knew already, which we will need in the months and years ahead."
Scholz said their talks focused on "making Europe strong and sovereign" in terms of economy, security, and foreign policy. "What is important there is that we work together," he said.。
The meeting took place a day after Macron had laid out the agenda for a "Europe that is powerful in the world" during France's turn as the rotating president of the 27-member Council of the European Union in the first half of 2022.。
Stonger Europe, multipolar world。
Then the chancellor arrived in Brussels, where he met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.。
At a joint press conference with von der Leyen, Scholz emphasized the importance of strengthening the EU's security and defense policy. He also spoke about his vision of a "strong, sovereign European Union" that will be able to respond to foreign policy challenges in a coordinated way. "Any threat against any EU country will not be tolerated," he stressed.。
Scholz leads a coalition of his Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens. The German government works together in a united way, he said. "All three parties are pro-European," he said.。
Germany, as one of the strongest economies in the EU, bears the responsibility to take the role to ensure progress and a bright future in Europe, the chancellor said.。
Von der Leyen, a German politician herself, said Germany played an important role in shaping the EU. "The European Commission is ready for intensive cooperation with the new German government," she said, highlighting the fight against the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate action in the framework of the European Green Deal, and large-scale digitalization as key areas for cooperation between the European Commission and Germany.。
At another press conference with European Council President Charles Michel, Scholz stressed that the EU should live peacefully with other countries when it seeks strategic sovereignty in the multipolar world of today.。
The world will not be bipolar as some people speculate, but a multipolar one with "many powers," including the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India as well as many other rising economies, he said.。
The former German finance minister and vice-chancellor in the Merkel government won 395 of the 707 votes cast in the Bundestag lower house on Wednesday, and pledged broad "continuity" with Merkel's policies while striving to make Germany greener and fairer.。