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

    Video Russia's Expat Community Shrinking

    Russia's troubled economy, tensions with West have led hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave for better opportunities

    Accelerating the Push Against Islamic State: What Will Work?

    Experts stress need to step up military action, address root causes of Muslims' disaffection, counter IS social media messages in a massive way

    Experts: N. Korean Abductions Sought to Halt Brain Drain

    Pyongyang abducted about 3,800 South Koreans and more than a dozen Japanese nationals in late 1970s

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.