(TibetanReview.net, Jun18’21) – To prepare for a seamless start of its service on Jun 30, the eve of celebrations marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), final trials have been held of the Tibet Autonomous Region section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway recently. The full project, when completed by 2030, is feared to bring in hordes of new Chinese immigrants to occupied Tibet and take back billions of tonnes of mineral ores and other vital Tibetan resources to China.
China gas said the Lhasa-Nyingchi stretch of the railway will be a “gift” to Tibet by the CPC on the latter’s 100th founding anniversary on Jul 1.
Nyingchi (Tibetan: Nyingtri) is a town opposite to India’s Tuting sector in the Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, so it has grave security implications for New Delhi, especially since China considers the state its territory on the basis of its claim over Tibet.
A trial run of the railway, along with a video of a running train, was posted by Beijing-based state-media journalist Shen Shiwei on his micro-blogging site. He wrote in his Jun 12 post:
Nyingchi is located 40 km away from the border in Arunachal Pradesh, and the rail line itself runs much closer to the border than that at some points, said a swarajyamag.com report Jun 17, reporting on the trial runs.
The 435km line is Tibet’s first electrified railway line and is a major chunk of China’s second rail link with Tibet – The Lhasa-Nyingchi railway stretch.
As part of China’s “project of the century,” Lhasa-Nyingchi railway stretch will connect Lhasa with Sichuan’s capital Chengdu.
Notably, China’s latest 1 trillion yuan “development push” to accelerate infrastructure investment in Tibet will bolster its frontier security near the Tibet border amid the LAC standoff with India, noted the economist.com Jun 5, reporting on the “gift”.
It noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping had said the construction of the rail line would play a “key role in safeguarding the stability in the border areas of the nation.”