China to complete key rail project in Tibet amid tensions with India

7 September 2020 (Last Updated September 7th, 2020 17:15)

China is reportedly planning to complete a key railway project in Tibet amid ongoing border tensions with India.

China to complete key rail project in Tibet amid tensions with India
Construction works to complete the middle section of the Sichuan-Tibet railway link will begin in the upcoming weeks. Credit: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.

China is reportedly planning to complete a key railway project in Tibet amid ongoing border tensions with India.

Construction work to complete the middle section of the Sichuan-Tibet railway link will begin in the upcoming weeks.

This comes after Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying in a meeting with local officials that major infrastructure projects in Tibet will be completed to strengthen unity in the region.

The CNY270bn ($39.5bn) project involves connecting Tibetan capital of Lhasa with Chengdu. The contractors are anticipated to face construction challenges due to the rough terrain of the region.

Besides the Sichuan-Tibet railway link, the construction plans include building the proposed railway line between Nepal and Tibet. In July, it was reported that China commenced ground works for the project.

Reuters reported that the government also plans to develop a dry port in the Tibet Autonomous Region, citing sources familiar with the matter.

India and China have been engaged in a military standoff along the border for several months. The standoff resulted in occasional skirmishes with both countries incurring casualties.

The tensions recently fuelled again following more military action.

China aims to build high-speed rail network in Tibet for improved connectivity and accessibility.

Last month, China State Railway Group unveiled a plan that aims to expand the rail network to around 200,000km by the end of 2035.