Zone of Peace
China Proposes Oil and Rail Link To Kathmandu
(Bernama) As India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, is on official visit inChina, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Cheng Xia Ling, has confirmed hiscountry’s intention to establish a rail link to Kathmandu and has offered tosupply oil to Nepal. "The China-Tibet railway link will not end in Lhasa,as wehave plans to expand it up to the Nepalese border", the Press Trust of India(PTI) quoted the Ambassador as saying. Mr Cheng said China also wants toestablish road links to "promote regional peace and development". He alsosaidChina wants to supply petroleum products to Nepal. "We are working towardsdeveloping a permanent and long term mechanism to supply petrol to Nepal fromChina", he said. Nepal is currently facing severe shortages in its petrolsupplydue to the government’s lack of cash. China is itself is a net importer ofoil,with nearly 40% of its oil coming from overseas and this figure is certain togrow in coming years. Apart from the technological challenges, theestablishmentof a pipeline across Tibet required to supply Nepal would mean a hugeinvestmentthat would be unlikely to prove economically viable for the foreseeablefuture.Mr Cheng also condemned the American government's plan to resettle Tibetanrefugees in the US. "Tibet's problem is an internal affair of China, so wedon'twant any kind of interference in it", he said.
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