Railway on Track to Benefit Tibet
[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/12/03; December 3, 2001.]
[Xinhua is the official news agency of the PRC]
CHENGDU: 12/03/2001 (Xinhua) -- The Qinghai-Tibet railway, under construction, will bring tangible benefits to the Tibetan residents and improve their living conditions.
Xie Jisheng, an expert on Tibetology from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, made the remarks on Friday at a seminar in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The seminar focused on how to promote modernization in the Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as Tibetan ethnic areas in other Chinese provinces.
The 1,100-kilometre Qinghai-Tibet railway - to run from Golmud of Qinghai Province to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa - will greatly accelerate the population mobility and also enhance connections between different Tibetan ethnic areas across China, Xie said.
He added Lhasa will grow into a plateau metropolis, with a rich supply of goods and diversified cultural life.
The long-term construction, follow-up maintenance work, passenger transportation and station service will bring enormous job opportunities to the Tibetans living along the railway, Xie said. As it is difficult for outsiders to acclimatize themselves in the region - where the high altitude cuts the oxygen supply - few other ethnic people will migrate to Tibet, and the population there will remain basically the same, according to experts.
Experts also suggested the railway will link up with the Silk Road - now a tourist route but originally the passage famous for transporting rich cultural relics through Northwest China.
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