China to begin second Tibet railway extension work this year

2014 will not only see the completion of China’s building of the first extension railway project in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), but also the beginning of a second one. The second extension will run between Tibet’s capital Lhasa and Nyingtri Prefecture in southeastern TAR. China earlier said Jan 1 that the first extension line, running between Lhasa and Shigatse in the south over 253 km, will be completed this year.

Losang Jamcan, chairman of the TAR government, made the announcement in his government work report presented to the second session of the 10th TAR Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which was held from Jan 8 to Jan 12, reported China’s online Tibet news service eng.tibet.cn Jan 14.

Losang has said the project was currently at the feasibility study stage with two designs going southward and northward being under discussion.

Both the extensions are of great strategic importance to China not only in terms of consolidating its rule and strengthening its control over Tibetans but also for geostrategic reasons. Shigatse is located close to occupied Tibet’s border with Nepal while Nyingtri adjoins India. Both the railways will facilitate movement of arms and troops as well as transport of mineral resources from Tibet to China.

source: Tibetan Review, 16 Jan 2014

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