posted on Jul, 3 2006 @ 09:38 PM
China has just completed the last 710 mile stretch of a Sino-Tibetan railroad. The project had been on hold since the 1980's but was revived in
2001. There were some major engineering problems that had to be solved in order to make the railroad feasible but they seem to have been solved.
Chinese authorities are lauding the RR as the key to the 'development' of Tibet.
Chinese officials defend the railway as vital to stimulating Tibet's development. They project it will double tourist revenues and reduce the cost of
cargo transport by up to three-fourths.
"The completion of the Qinghai-Tibet railway is a significant piece of good news longed for by the people in Qinghai Province and the Tibetan
Autonomous Region," Zhu Zhensheng, executive vice director of the Qingzang Railway Office of the Chinese Railway Administration, said in a news
briefing this week. "The railway provides capacity for the quick flow of people, goods and information and will directly contribute to the
development" of the area.
But the event is being tightly controlled by Chinese officials to ensure favorable coverage. They handpicked 40 foreign journalists to ride the first
train. Other news organizations, including The New York Times, that bought train tickets independently were denied requisite permits to enter Tibetan
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
If there was ever any doubt, it's official China is capitalistic. A major benefit of this railway is that Tibet's resources can now be more
efficiently 'harvested' and shipped to China. It will also be possible to widely settle the area with (Han) Chinese, blunting the century old Tibetin
culture. It would seem that the Chinese have considered it a direct challenge to subjugate the Tibetans. Modernity will soon engulf Tibet leaving
the expatriot Tibetans to preserve their cultural heritage.
Not that Americans can't sympathize with the Chinese dilema. Afterall it is part of the Chinese 'go west' policy. Sort of like our own manifest
destiny and we have been preaching about globalization. Perhaps the Tibetans are in the way of progress afterall? Shangri-la no more, can McDonalds
be far behind.