Nepal has said Sep 6 that the Chinese authorities in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) had agreed to extend the region’s expanding railway network into the neighbouring Himalayan country. Nepal’s myrepublica.com Sep 6 cited the country’s Chief Secretary Leela Mani Poudel as saying an assurance to this effect was given by Mr Luo Sang Jiang Cun, chairman of the TAR Government.
The ethnically Tibetan Chinese official has told the visiting Nepalese official that China would expand the rail service to Nepal once the ongoing Lhasa-Shigatse rail service comes into operation. The construction of the Lhasa-Shigatse railway, which has been going on since 2010, is scheduled to be completed by next year.
This is the first time China is reported to have given a concrete assurance to extend a railway service into Nepal. Previously, China had only said it would consider Nepal’s request most favourably.
“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,” the report said Hari Basyal, Nepalese Consul General in Lhasa, quoted Luo as saying in the Sep 5 meeting with Poudel.
At the meeting, the Nepali delegation also solicited Chinese support for the construction of a Kathmandu-Lumbini rail service and linking it with Shigatse, the report added.
Poudel has also asked China to support Nepal in the development of its trade infrastructures, including the construction of dry ports, upgrading of roads and building of new railway for facilitating the promotion of bilateral trade.
Poudel reiterated Nepal´s policy of not allowing anti-China activities on its soil, the report added.
The meeting took place in the backdrop of the holding of the 14th Nepal-China’s Tibet Economic and Trade Fair – 2013, a biennial five-day event which opened in Shigatse on Sep 5.
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