AP PHOTOS: Glimpse of life in Tibet under China's rule

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NTP: Tibet daily life under Chinese rule
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AP PHOTOS: Glimpse of life in Tibet under China's rule
Tibetan Buddhist worshippers spin prayer wheels as they circumnavigate the Potala Palace in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
Dawa, a 68 year-old Tibetan, uses an embroidery loom to weave sheep cotton into 18-meter-long robes that make up the traditional outfit in Lhoka county (Shannan in Chinese) in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
Local laborers and neighbors oversee the construction of a toilet in Lhoka county (Shannan county in Chinese) in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. The construction was partially funded by the local government as part of an urbanization project launched by the region's government to settle herders and nomads in villages closer to populated areas. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
Pedestrians and vehicles make their way past the Potala Palace early on a rainy morning in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
In this Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 photo, three generations of Tibetans pose for a photo at the home of grandparents Lhamu Tseren, seated at right, and her husband during a visit by local Communist Party cadres and journalists in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
In this Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 photo, a 100-year-old Tibetan woman rests with her grandson outside the Tibetan Medicine Hospital in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
In this Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 photo, a man on a scooter drives past the Potala Palace, the traditional seat of Tibetan political and spiritual leadership and residence of Dalai Lamas since the 17th century in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. The last official resident of the palace was Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, who fled to exile to India in 1959. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
In this Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 photo, Students follow a Tibetan-language lesson at the Lhasa-Beijing Experimental Middle School on the outskirts of Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. The school, a brand new educational center for close to 2,500 students, was built by the Beijing municipal government as part of a national policy that pairs wealthy cities in eastern China with less developed ethnic regions of Xinjiang and Tibet in the west. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
In this Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 photo, a Tibetan family walks across Jokhang Square in the center of Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. Chinese officials have taken foreign journalists on a visit to the region, normally off-limits to them, weeks after Communist Party officials commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. (AP Photo/Aritz Parra)
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LHASA, China (AP) -- Tibet is usually off-limits to the foreign media, but Chinese officials this week took foreign journalists on a visit to the region, almost two weeks after Beijing celebrated half-century control over the Himalayan territory.

China sent troops to occupy Tibet following the 1949 communist revolution. The government says the region has been part of Chinese territory for centuries, while many Tibetans say it has a long history of independence under a series of Buddhist leaders.

The region's traditional Buddhist ruler, the Dalai Lama, fled in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, and continues to advocate for a meaningful level of autonomy under Chinese rule.

China established the Tibetan autonomous region in 1965, one of five ethnic regions in the country today. While Tibet is nominally in charge of its own affairs, its top officials are appointed by Beijing and expected to rule with an iron fist. The region incorporates only about half of Tibet's traditional territory and has been smothered in multiple layers of security ever since deadly anti-government riots in 2008.

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