DHARAMSHALA, September 10: China has assured Nepali authorities that it will extend its railway to Nepal to boost economic cooperation between the two countries. Lobsang Gyaltsen, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, assured Leela Mani Poudel, the Chief Secretary and head of the Nepalese delegation to the 14th Nepal China Tibet Economic and Trade Fair-2013, in Shigatse.
“Feasibility study is underway for expanding rail service between Nepal and Tibet. We will immediately commence the process for implementing the plan once railway line reaches Shigatse from Beijing,” Lobsang was quoted by media reports as saying during the meeting.
Rail line to the Shigatse, is set to open a year ahead of schedule by 2014. The first extension of 253 kilometer “Qinghai-Tibet” railway began in 2010 with a budget of 13.3 billion Yuan ($ 2.1 billion).
Moreover, Poudel reiterated the Nepal´s policy of not allowing “anti-China activities” on its soil while addressing at the inaugural ceremony of the Trade fair last Thursday.
Meanwhile, Poudel and Ding Yexian, the executive vice-chairman of TAR of China, jointly inaugurated the Trade Fair last Thursday. More than 200 representatives from 70 business enterprises, 36 observer business enterprises, and representatives of Trade and Export Promotion Center are participating from Nepal in the biennial fair. Similarly, around 200 participants from Tibet are also showcasing their products in the five-day event that concluded on Monday.
Earlier in April, a senior Nepalese leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal promised China’s President Xi Jinping that the Himalayan country will “crush” any protest by Tibetan refugees living in Nepal.
Nepal, which is home to some 20,000 Tibetans, has accommodated Tibetan exiles for decades but has come under increasing pressure from China, a major donor for the impoverished country, to crack down on the political protests by Tibetans.
Tibetans and foreign tourists visiting Nepal say that the erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom has become an extension of Chinese territory where anything against China is not tolerated. "Even religious freedom of the Tibetans are being curbed now. They don't even let the Tibetans celebrate the Dalai Lama's birthday." Police in civilian clothes are constantly monitoring Tibetans and their movement in Nepal.