Beijing: Marking the 60th anniversary of "peaceful liberation" of Tibet, China on Tuesday vowed to fight against "separatist" activities of the Dalai Lama and crush any attempt to undermine stability in the region.

"We should fight against separatist activities by the Dalai group, rely on cadres and people of all ethnic groups, seek long-term policies and take measures that address the root cause, and completely destroy any attempt to undermine stability in Tibet and national unity of the motherland," Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said.

Social stability provides the very basis for leapfrog development and a prosperous life for people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, Xi, who is widely expected to succeed President Hu Jintao next year, said addressing a rally in Lhasa celebrating the 60th anniversary since China consolidated its authority over the remote Himalayan region.

The rally was held at the square opposite the famous Potala Palace in the Tibetan provincial capital Lhasa, which was the official residence of the Dalai Lama before he fled to India in 1959. The rally also included a military parade and cultural presentations.

Xi said people of all ethnic groups in Tibet have stood firm in the fight against separatism.

"They have forestalled separatist and sabotage activities staged by the Dalai group and foreign hostile forces, and firmly safeguarded ethnic unity, social stability and national unification," he said.

"Social stability provides the very basis for leapfrog development and a prosperous life for people of all ethnic groups in Tibet," he said. 

"We should stick to the idea that 'Han' (the mainland Chinese ethnic group which has over 95 per cent majority) and ethnic minorities cannot live without each other, and different ethnic minorities are inter-dependent on each other," Xi said.

"As long as we stick to the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the socialist system, the system of regional ethnic autonomy and the development path with Chinese and local Tibetan features, Tibet will enjoy greater prosperity and progress and embrace a brighter future."

A white paper published on the occasion claimed that historical evidence showed that Tibet had all along been part
of China and Tibetan people had been "closely connected with the Han and other ethnic groups in blood relationship, language, culture and other aspects."

The celebrations were being held in the immediate backdrop of China strongly objecting to the last Saturday's meeting between US President Barrack Obama and the Dalai Lama at the White House in Washington.

Many Chinese analysts here claimed that the Obama-Dalai meeting was deliberately timed to coincide with China's plans to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the "peaceful liberation" of Tibet by its troops.

Chinese officials in the last few years held several rounds of talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives but the negotiations made no headway even after the Tibetan spiritual leader announced that Tibet was part of China but wanted broader autonomy package for the province.

In his speech, Xi also said Tibet served as an important national security screen for the country. It constitutes an important ecological security screen, a major base of strategic resources reserve and a major production area of special highland agro-produce.

It is home to the preservation of a unique culture of the Chinese nation and a major international tourism destination, he said.

Xi said it is China's grand goal to build a new, socialist Tibet that is united, democratic, prosperous, culturally advanced and harmonious.

 He also promised to improve people's well-being and maintain social stability in Tibet. Speeding up development
"holds the key to resolving all issues in Tibet", he said. 

"The economic and social development of Tibet should always aim at safeguarding and improving people's well-being," he said, adding that the government objective is to ensure that people of all ethnic groups in the autonomous region have access to education, employment, medical and old-age care and housing.

Efforts must be made to promote leapfrog development and long-term peace and stability, bring about moderate prosperity in all respects by 2020 and deliver a new life of greater happiness to people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, Xi said.

China asserts that it had secured Tibet in 1951 after the central government signed an agreement with the former local government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.

Taking note of the fundamental changes taken place in the past 60 years in Tibet, Xi said Tibet has achieved a leap forward in the development of the social system and all-round economic and social development.

Over the past six decades, the living standards of the Tibetan people have markedly improved and ethnic unity there has steadily enhanced, he said.

Average life expectancy in Tibet has almost doubled from the level of the early days of "peaceful liberation," he said.

"The extraordinary development of Tibet over the past 60 years points to an irrefutable truth: without the CPC, there would have been no new China, no new Tibet," Xi said.

(Agencies)