Qinghai-Tibet railway line may be extended to Nepal

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 August, 2006, 12:00am

Authorities plan to extend the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to China's border with Nepal, according to Tibetan Autonomous Region chairman Qiangba Puncog.

During a meeting with Deputy Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli in Lhasa yesterday, Qiangba Puncog said the railway line which went into service last month would not be just extended to Xigaze from Lhasa, but also to China's border with Nepal.

According to earlier state media reports, Beijing already planned to extend the line to Xigaze, with construction of the 270km-long extension expected to start next year. It is scheduled to take three years to complete.

'We would like to open more channels to South Asian countries as we have great potential for economic co-operation,' Qiangba Puncog said.

'The [extension of the railway] will help promote business exchanges between our two countries.'

Mr Oli said Nepal also looked forward to the extension.

The Xinhua report did not give a timetable for the extension to the border with Nepal.

Mr Oli is in China for an eight-day official visit.