China completes Tibet highway



Tibet road permit greater access to remote areas along the disputed border with Arunachal Pradesh.

More within the news:

  • China has completed the development of a strategically significant highway through the world’s deepest canyon in Tibet along the Brahmaputra .
  • It enables greater access to remote areas along the disputed border with Arunachal Pradesh in India.
  • According to the official Chinese authorities, it took seven years to finish and undergo the Grand Canyon of the Yarlung Zangbo river, because the Brahmaputra is named in Tibet.
  • This is the “second significant passageway” to Medog county that borders Arunachal Pradesh directly connecting the Pad township in Nyingchi to Baibung in Medog county.
  • The construction, which began in 2014, is a component of a wider infrastructure push in border areas in Tibet.
  • The highway will reduce the space between Nyingchi city and Medog from 346 km to 180 km and can cut the time period by eight hours.
  • That project was considered vital enough for President Xi Jinping to officially launch it and announced  
  • It is a serious step in safeguarding national unity and a big move in promoting the economic and social development of the western region.
  • According to China, during a scenario of a crisis happening at the border, the railway and roadways can act as a ‘fast track’ for the delivery of strategic materials.
  • The first segment of the road within the Sichuan province, from Chengdu to Yaan, was completed in December 2018.  
  • Work on the 1,011-km section from Yaan to Nyingchi are going to be finished in 2030.
China is making a Beijing-Tibet expressway and it has military implications  for India

Related Facts:

In 2017, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) government launched an idea to create “moderately well-off villages” in border areas.

Under this plan 628 “first line and second line villages”, pertaining to those right the border et al. in remote areas slightly further within along China’s borders with India, Bhutan and Nepal, would be developed within the prefectures of:  

  • Ngari,  
  • Shigatse,  
  • Shannan and  
  • Nyingchi.
  • India’s Concern:
  • Another a part of the border infrastructure push is that the construction of latest civilian settlements, along side the expansion of existing smaller hamlets, along side border areas, a number of which dwell disputed territories claimed by India and Bhutan, to strengthen China’s control over the land.
  • Last year, satellite images emerged showing a replacement village called Pangda built 2-3 km into what Bhutan sees as its land.  
  • On January 18 2021, another village built 4-5 km into what India sees as its territory in Arunachal was seen via satellite images.  
  • However Indian officials said this land has been under China’s effective control since 1959 and there have been military barracks there earlier.



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