Tibet is a land of scant rainfall and a short growing season, and the only extensive agricultural region is the Yarlung Zangbo valley, where barley, wheat, potatoes, millet, and turnips are grown. Most other areas of Tibet are suited only for grazing; yaks, which can withstand the intense cold, are the principal domestic animals, and there are also large herds of goats and sheep. Much of the population is engaged in a pastoral life, but the advances made by irrigation and the growing of forage crops is decreasing the amount of nomadism. In addition to vast salt reserves, Tibet has large deposits of gold, copper, and radioactive ores.
The re-opening of the Nathu La pass (on southern Tibet’s border with India) should facilitate Sino-Indian border trade and boost Tibet’s economy. The Western Development policy is to boost economic development in western China, including the TAR.
Tibet Autonomous Region has the lowest population density among China’s province-level administrative regions, mostly due to its mountainous and harsh geographical features. The largest population is the Tibetans. There is also Han Chinese, who is recent immigrants from other provinces of China
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