China to operationalize first electric train in Tibet
Beijing: China is poised to put the first electric train into service in Tibet’s remote Himalayan region, connecting the provincial capital Lhasa to Nyingchi – a Tibetan border town strategically located near Arunachal Pradesh.
The 435.5 km Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway is expected to be inaugurated ahead of the centenary celebrations of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on July 1, according to state media.
The process of transmitting electricity has been completed and tested, Liu Yuxiang, chief engineer of the Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway, said earlier, quoted by state broadcaster CCTV.
The Sichuan-Tibet Railway will be the second railway to Tibet after the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. It will cross the southeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, one of the most geologically active areas in the world.
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In November, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on authorities to speed up construction of the new railway project, linking Sichuan and Nyingchi province to Tibet, saying the new railway line would play a key role in safeguarding the border stability.
The Sichuan-Tibet Railway departs from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, and crosses Ya’an and enters Tibet via Qamdo, shortening the route from Chengdu to Lhasa from 48 hours to 1 pm.
Nyingchi is the prefecture-level town of Medog which is adjacent to the border of Arunachal Pradesh.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet, which India strongly rejects. The border dispute between India and China covers the 3,488 km Long Line of Real Control (LAC).
Qian Feng, director of the research department of the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, earlier told the official Global Times daily that “if a crisis scenario arises at the Sino-Indian border, the railway will offer great convenience for delivery from China. of strategic materials.
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