Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai (Xinhua)
Girls of the Tibetan ethnic group attend a festival in Nyingchi, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, July 17, 2008 (Xinhua/Purbu Zhaxi). SEE MORE
The sweeping democratic reforms, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC), allowed the majority serfs of old Tibet to become their own masters and created favorable conditions for Tibetan prosperity and ethnic autonomy.
Previously, serfs were bonded to overlords and enjoyed no personal freedom. The three major estate-holders -- local administrative officials, aristocrats and upper-class monastery lamas -- made up five percent of Tibet's population. More>>