A rare glimpse inside Tibetan town built by China

A media tour organized by the Chinese government has offered a rare glimpse of life in Tibet.

Several journalists, along with a Reuters camera were taken to a village near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, which was built by China to relocate those living thousands of meters above sea level, to a lower area.

Sonam Choephel is a former local vice chair of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which is an advisory body to the government.

He said he was glad for the move.

"Yes, I'm willing to be relocated to the lower ground. Firstly, I need to consider my health. I was living on the high altitude so I'm concerned about my health. Secondly, there were a lot of wild animals at the high altitude and there were lots of conflicts between human and wild animals."”

Around 70% of Tibet's population is classified as rural, according to 2018 Chinese government figures, including many subsistence farmers.

It's a challenge for China's pledge to eradicate rural poverty in the country by the end of 2020.

The Chinese government also warned Washington on Thursday (October 15) to stop interfering in its internal affairs, in response to the U.S. naming a special coordinator for Tibetan issues.

Though Tibet remains an autonomous region of China, it remains one of the most restricted and sensitive areas in the country -- since it was seized by China seventy years ago in what Beijing calls a "peaceful liberation."