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China seeks feasibility study from Nepal for railway link from Tibet

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and his Nepalese counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey hold a joint press conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, Dec. 26, 2014. (Photo courtesy/Pratap Thapa)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and his Nepalese counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey hold a joint press conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, Dec. 26, 2014. (Photo courtesy/Pratap Thapa)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec 29, 2014) – China is to extend its railway network in Tibet to the recently opened border trade port of Kerung (Tibetan: Kyirong) near Nepal’s border and is also willing to continue it to Kathmandu and beyond, reported Nepal’s ekantipur.com Dec 28. During bilateral talks in Kathmandu on Dec 26, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed to expand the railway up to Kerung and urged Nepal to conduct a feasibility study so that the railway could be extended to Kathmandu and beyond, the report said.

The report said a Shigatse-Nepali railway line will be built, although the it gave no timeframe for the project. In fact, the report said Nepal was yet to formally make the request to China.

“During the talks, the Chinese side asked us to conduct a feasibility study if Nepal wants the network expanded into its territory,” the report quoted Nepal’s Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey as saying. Pandey led the Nepali side in the talks.

China opened a 253-km Lhasa-Shigatse Railway line in Aug 2014. And Shigatse is 540 km from Kerung, the nearest town in Chinese ruled Tibet from Nepal. And the nearest Nepali town from Kerung is the district of Rasuwa, located just 35 km away.

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