Defence

China Conducts Final Trials On New Rail Line In Tibet Close To Arunachal Border

By Swarajyamag

China is conducting final trials on its new high-speed rail line linking Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, with Nyingchi, a town opposite India’s Tuting sector in the Upper Siang district of Arunachal, a Chinese journalist said on Twitter.

Posting the video of the trials on the micro-blogging site, the Beijing-based journalist revealed that China spent $4.8 billion on the 435-km rail line. 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.

The Lhasa-Nyingchi rail line is part of the longer, 1,600-km long Sichuan-Tibet line that will link Lhasa with Chengdu, a city east of Arunachal Pradesh. The headquarter of China’s Western Theatre Command, which is responsible for the frontier with India from Arunachal to Ladakh, is located in Chengdu.

China has also built a 250-km-long highway linking Nyingchi with Lhasa, which, like the Lhasa-Nyingchi rail line, runs close to Arunachal.

Construction of the Lhasa-Nyingchi rail line, nearly 75 per cent of which is either over bridges or under tunnels, began in 2015, and track laying was completed over five years, in December 2020. China plans to open the rail line for traffic by the end of June, amid tensions with India along the Himalayan frontier.

The remaining 1,100-km long section of the line, a part (Chengdu-Ya’an section) of which is already complete, is expected to be ready by 2030.

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