Monday, April 10, 2006

India to Tibet via Rail?

By Zhang Liuhao
Shanghai Daily; 2006-04-10

CHINA is planning to extend the newly-built rail link between Qinghai and Tibet to India, as part of efforts to boost its connection with the world, Wen Wei Po newspaper said today, citing a State Council official.

Besides connecting to southern Asia, the country is also considering the construction of international railways in south China's Yunnan Province to link it to Southeast Asia; in northeast China to connect with Russia's railway network; and in northwestern Xinjiang to stretch into Russia in the 11th Five-Year Plan and in the future, the Hong Kong-based newspaper said.

The international rail links are expected to step up China's policy of opening up, solving the transport problem that curbs further cooperation with neighboring countries in energy and mineral resources.

"Considering the stable relations between Tibet and neighboring countries as well as their economic development, it is very necessary to pave tracks into South Asian countries," said State Council official Hu Changshun.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway will be extended south to Shigatse and will then connect with India's railway network. It will link China to southern Asia and also for southern Asian countries to link the world, Hu added.