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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs