(TibetanReview.net, Mar06’21) – China has said Mar 5 that it will help the local Tibet Autonomous Region government to build an important passageway opening to South Asia. It was stated to be a part of the draft outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035, which was unveiled that day at the 2021 Two Sessions in Beijing.
The two sessions refer to the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber stamp Parliament, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s so-called top political advisor.
The single-sentence official Xinhua news agency report did not say where the passageway will be built and what it will involve. However, as noted by the PTI news agency Mar 5, China has been planning for a long time to build a Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network through Tibet and Nepal.
And it was regarded as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation between China and Nepal.
In 2019, China and Nepal signed a protocol to operationalise their 2016 Transit Transport Treaty which provided access for the landlocked Himalayan country to use Chinese ports for its foreign trade, reducing the country’s dependence on Indian ports.
Also, China’s official China Daily newspaper reported last year that preparatory work was underway for a cross-border railway connecting Tibet and Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
Work will also start next year on the China-Nepal Friendship Industrial Park in Jhapa, eastern Nepal.
These two projects form part of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, the report said.