China’s top leader in Tibet lauded the progress his country has made developing the region, touting an ethnic-assimilation campaign that has fueled international accusations of human rights abuses.

"More and more believers have been trained from pursuing a good afterlife to living a good life in this life, and religion has been increasingly compatible with a socialist society,” Wu Yingjie, the Communist Party chief of Tibet, said at a press briefing in Beijing on Saturday.

Wu also listed a wide array of ways the ruling party has transformed the region where most people are Buddhist — from building schools and paved roads to improvements in health care — as China marks the 70th anniversary on Sunday of an agreement giving it control of the region.