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China to boost infrastructure in Tibet

Posted on Jul 26 2014 | IANS

Beijing, July 26 : China has vowed to upgrade the transport infrastructure in Tibet and expand the existing network of rail, road and air routes within the next six years.

China's ministry of transport (MOT), in a guideline, said the country aims to expand highways in the Tibet Autonomous Region to 110,000 kms by 2020, Xinhua reported Saturday.

A primary railway network of up to 1,300 km till 2020 has also been set as a target by the government.

The country would also build more airports in Tibet, also known as the 'roof of the world'.

The authorities plan to make sure that by 2020, every village in Tibet has at least one road connecting with the northern areas.

The MOT would make specific plans to ensure the accomplishment of these targets.

"The development of transport in Tibet is crucial to China's national security and lasting prosperity in the autonomous region," the MOT guideline said.

Tibet has received about 83 billion yuan (USD 13 billion) in transport investment during the last 20 years, Xinhua reported.

Chinese daily Global Times Thursday said a railway line linking Lhasa and Shigatse in Tibet Autonomous Region, known as the "closest stretch of railway to the sky", is to open to traffic in August after finishing its 14th track test July 22.

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) expressed concern over the Lhasa-Shigatse rail line in Tibet, saying it will threaten the unique cultural identity of Tibetans.

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