News / Asia

China to Extend Rail Line from Tibet to India, Nepal

FILE - Workers take a break sitting on the tracks leading to the platform of the newly opened Lhasa train station in Lhasa, Tibet, China.
FILE - Workers take a break sitting on the tracks leading to the platform of the newly opened Lhasa train station in Lhasa, Tibet, China.
Reuters

China plans to extend a railway line linking Tibet with the rest of the country to the borders of India, Nepal and Bhutan by 2020 once an extension to a key site in Tibetan Buddhism opens, a state-run newspaper reported on Thursday.

China opened the railway to Tibet's capital Lhasa in 2006, which passes spectacular icy peaks on the Tibetan highlands, touching altitudes as high as 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) above sea level, as part of government efforts to boost development.

Critics of the railway, including exiled Tibetans and rights groups, say it has spurred an influx of long-term migrants who threaten Tibetans' cultural integrity, which rests on Buddhist beliefs and a traditional herding lifestyle.

The Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, said that an extention to Shigatse, the traditional seat of Tibetan Buddhism's second-highest figure, the Panchen Lama, would formally open next month.

2016-2020 extension

That link is scheduled for its own extension during the 2016-2020 period to two separate points, one on the border of Nepal and the other on the border with India and Bhutan, the newspaper cited Yang Yulin, deputy head of Tibet's railways, as saying, without providing details.

China has long mooted this plan, but the difficulty and expense of building in such a rugged and remote region has slowed efforts.

Tibet is a highly sensitive region, not just because of continued Tibetan opposition to Chinese control, but because of its strategic position next to India, Nepal and Myanmar.

The Chinese announcement coincides with a drive by India, under its new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to consolidate its influence with its smaller neighbors.

Visit to Nepal

Modi's foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, heads to Nepal on Friday with a proposed pact to help develop the Himalayan country's hydro-electric power potential high on the agenda.

Modi, who made his first foreign trip as prime minister to Bhutan, is to visit Nepal next month. But Nepal's opposition Maoists are uneasy about the hydro-electric plan and say it could lock out China to the benefit of Indian companies.

India and China fought a brief border war in 1962 over the region at the eastern end of the Himalayas. The nuclear-armed neighbors signed a pact in October to ensure that differences on their shared border do not spark a confrontation.

India and China have competing claims over what India calls Arunachal Pradesh, which has been administered by India for decades and what China calls South Tibet.

China's Communist army occupied Tibet in 1950. Nine years later, Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled to India after a failed uprising. 

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tsewang from: Birmingham
August 02, 2014 10:30 AM
Although building infrastructure can be good if balance is kept well, but here! We need to think about it's motives and the manner in which it use. This is possibility of creating another strategic points of world, which can harm and effects whole world through political, economical and many mores. As far as looking at current relationships and as well as past, bringing them near could be alarming if the motives is not clear and good. Tibet freedom could be the very best solution to keep balance between two big nation and also good for balance for whole Asia. This is favour for whole world from me, otherwise regarding Tibet no Govt open support for Tibet, it's the ordinary people who really support Tibet issue. They mostly lost moral authority infront of economic and it's might. I can count u.n. Resolution for Tibet cause in my one hand fingers compare with palestinian more then hundreds! Tibetans adopted completely peaceful or non violence , but it hardly touch to rest of the world nations and there medias. I think if Tibet solution is solved, then Palestinian solution can be solve and the problems a like in rest of the world. Because Tibet can set a example of success through non violence and dialogue , which rest like us will adopt the same method.


by: Bibek khanal from: kathmandu
August 02, 2014 5:35 AM
Great! Hail PR-China. We love China rather than the imperialist India. We will more Soreign n self dependent by this.


by: Murari from: Kathmandu
July 24, 2014 8:30 PM
Wonderful thinking of China to support infrastructure development of Nepal and Bhutan and create linkage for better economic relations.

In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NY
July 25, 2014 10:29 AM
The CCP isn't building this railway to support development in Nepal & Bhutan. They're building it to transport Chinese migrants and the PLA into Tibet while extracting Tibet's natural resources. Tibetans have no say in whether this railway gets built or not. If the CCP decides one day to annex Nepal & Bhutan (they are already controlling Nepal's Govt), they will use this railway to transport the PLA into these 2 countries.


by: william li from: canada
July 24, 2014 2:05 PM
I am so proud of my motherland!

Go China Go! we will build high speed train rails to every corner of the world.

trains are safer than planes!

In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NY
July 25, 2014 10:32 AM
Thank you, comrade Li. Your 50 cents is in the mail. Meanwhile Tibetans suffer under Chinese colonial rule & CCP tyranny. Tibetans have no rights and no political or economic power in our own homeland. The CCP attacks our religion, our culture, our very way of life and those Tibetans who dare to speak out against the CCP's policies are jailed, beaten and murdered.

In Response

by: Buzzby from: Ohio
July 24, 2014 9:59 PM
"This has been a paid political announcement"


by: albato
July 24, 2014 6:01 AM
China extent the railway to Tibet and rest of areas to develop the area/region.

If China didn't do it, the critics will say China neglecting these regions. And not to develop these regions. Resulting these regions to stay poor.

If China does extent the railway to link those regions, the critics will also have something else to say that China is trying to influence or change the nature culture of native society in the region.

Oh God, what should China do ?

In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NY
July 25, 2014 10:35 AM
The Tibetan people were not consulted about the Lhasa Railway or these planned extensions within Tibet. Nor did the Tibetan people give their consent to such "development." China spent over $4 billion on the Lhasa Railway, which is more than what China has spent on health care & education in Tibet in the last 4 decades. Tibet still has the highest illiteracy rate in the PRC, only 15% of Tibetans have a secondary education, and the per capital income of Tibetans is half of that in Bhutan. So in exchange for this railway, all \Tibetans had to go was give up their religion, culture & freedom.

In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
July 24, 2014 12:56 PM
China should give Tibet its country back, return all territories it stole from Vietnam, India and other countries that it borders.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid