China has upgraded the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous County, epicenter of a deadly 2010 quake, from a county-level administrative division to a city in order to boost the area's development.
The new People's Congress of Yushu City is about to hold its first meeting, at which government leaders will be appointed, Wu Dejun, the city's newly-elected Communist Party chief, told Xinhua on Monday.
With an average altitude of 4,493 meters, the new city covers 15,700 square kilometers. It has a population of 120,000, of which about 93 percent are Tibetans.
The administrative promotion showed the central government's concern and support for the underdeveloped area, which is inhabited by a large Tibetan population, said Wu.
With the upgrade, the city is expected to be given more financial and policy support from upper-level governments, though its administrative area and population remain unchanged.
Located on the plateau area of northwest China's Qinghai Province, Yushu was hit heavily by a 7.0 magnitude quake three years ago, which left 2,698 people dead, 270 others missing and many towns flattened.
Reconstruction sponsored by the central government and other provinces began soon after the quake. In the education sector alone, three high schools, 13 primary schools and 15 kindergartens have been rebuilt.
With all reconstruction projects expected to be completed this year, a brand new city is taking shape.
"It's a great leap forward for Yushu in appearance over the past three years, but the operation and management of such a new city poses a challenge for us, too," said Wu.
"We will work hard to make Yushu City an example of city management, eco-tourism development, and cultural conservation in the Tibetan areas," he said.