Tag Archives | Tibet railway
Laying tracks in Tibet

Tibetans ordered to prostrate to pictures of Chinese President as Tibet leaders prioritize anti-Dalai Lama stance

January 15, 2019

As authorities in Tibet Autonomous Region emphasized their “clear-cut” stance against the Dalai Lama at meetings of the Region’s Party Congress last week, news emerged from eastern Tibet that Tibetans are being told to prostrate and make offerings to pictures of Xi Jinping.

TAR Chairman Che Dalha announced in his work report to the regional Party Congress that oppressive measures had been heightened, saying: “Tibet has firmly curbed and cracked down on secession, infiltration and sabotage activities by hostile forces [a political term encompassing the Dalai Lama and Tibet supporters] at home and abroad.”

Amid other signs of an intensified campaign against the Dalai Lama, in the eastern Tibetan area of Serthar county in Sichuan, Tibetans who receive official “poverty alleviation” subsidies from the government have been ordered to remove images of the Dalai Lama from their homes and to destroy their altars, according to information from former political prisoner Golok Jigme. Some families are even being compelled to display images of China’s leader Xi Jinping in their homes, and to prostrate and make offerings.

Another source told the International Campaign for Tibet that new housing provided for Tibetans relocated in settlements in Kham were already equipped with small altars – not with Buddhist icons, but with images of Chinese Party leaders.

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ICT Inside Tibet: Safety fears over Tibet railway raised amid concern over mega-projects

November 21, 2017

  • An account of safety fears over construction of the newest line of the Tibet railway, the Lhasa to Shigatse route, is circulating on social media, with the blogger saying that the authorities are “turning a blind eye” to the dangers. The author of the blog, who gives a Chinese name, appears to have detailed knowledge of the railway’s construction and its failings and refers to the military and strategic importance of Tibet’s railway and its extension in areas close to the Indian border.
  • The Nepalese press reported that China and Nepal have completed an early study on the cross-border, 100-km railway that they say will connect Kathmandu with the border town of Kyirong (Chinese: Gyirong) in the Tibet Autonomous Region, part of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ plans, although their account of the extent of underground tunnelling under one of the world’s most seismically active mountain ranges seems unfeasible and highly unlikely.
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Inside Tibet: News and analysis of emerging developments in Tibet

November 8, 2016

  • Tibetan ‘Living Buddhas’ visit to Mao Zedong’s birthplace and military camp sends strong political signal of Party dominance
  • New alignment of Xinjiang and Tibet regional leadership in climate of intensified security, surveillance and ‘counter terror’
  • Report by Congressional-Executive Commission on China shows dramatic increase of Chinese in Tibetan areas linked to railway opening
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Plans for second railway across Tibet confirmed: likely to have even greater impact

March 14, 2016

The Chinese government has confirmed plans to accelerate construction of a new railway line to Tibet from Chengdu, running east from Lhasa close to India’s border, and an extension of the railway to the border with Nepal.

The official confirmation of the new route to Chengdu – described by an official as “like the largest rollercoaster in the world” – and to Kyirong on the border with Nepal was announced at the China’s National People’s Congress in Beijing this month and during earlier official meetings in Lhasa.

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New strategic rail network to Tibet’s borders endangers environment, raises regional security concerns (Updated)

November 12, 2014

  • China has confirmed plans to extend the railway in Tibet to the borders of India, Bhutan and Nepal by 2020, and the construction of a new line east from Lhasa close to India’s border, in a new strategic network. The Chinese state media has announced the beginning of construction of a new line to Nyingtri this year, close to the sensitive area of Arunachal Pradesh in India, which China claims as part of the PRC. The developments have created alarm in India with implications for regional security being raised by commentators in India and South Asia.
  • The new rail links follow the opening of a new checkpoint and ‘land port’ on the border of Nepal and Tibet in October (2014), and the planned opening of the Nathula pass route from Sikkim in India to the sacred Mount Kailash in Tibet, announced in September (2014).
  • The planned new construction follows the completion of the first extension of the Qinghai-Lhasa railway to Shigatse in the Tibet Autonomous Region, which was inaugurated in August. The railway and its connection to Shigatse has been crucial in the expansion of mining in Tibet, making it possible to transport more ores out of Tibetan areas, many of which were previously remote and inaccessible.
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Tibet railway map

New Qinghai railroads to pass through sensitive Tibetan areas

Plans for five new rail lines in Qinghai province, discussed on the sidelines of this year’s National People’s Congress March meeting in Beijing, include two routes through some of the most culturally significant areas of Tibet, and areas that remain under a security crackdown since widespread demonstrations across Tibet in 2008. (“During the 12th Five-Year […]

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Protesters demonstrate in Machu

Authorities admit that Chinese migration may have been factor in triggering unrest in Tibet

The authorities have made a rare admission that large-scale migration from China, particularly linked to the opening of the new railway from Qinghai to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in 2006, may have been a factor in triggering the unrest in Lhasa in March. As the crackdown continues across the Tibetan plateau following the spring […]

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Train to Tibet #1

Tracking the Steel Dragon

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT » The world’s highest railroad across the Tibetan plateau to Lhasa (completed in July 2006) is the most high-profile symbol of Beijing’s ambitious plans to develop the western regions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As an indispensable element of Beijing’s ‘transportation revolution’, the aim of its construction is to expand […]

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railway bridge on the Kyichu River

Tracking the Steel Dragon: How China’s economic policies and the railroad are transforming Tibet

The first major report on the impact of the world’s highest altitude railway across the Tibetan plateau reveals how it is changing Tibet, to the detriment of the Tibetan people and land, and details the dramatic implications for the whole of Asia. Mary Beth Markey, Vice President of the Washington, DC-based International Campaign for Tibet, […]

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Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch says Lhasa railroad increased Tibetan concerns about marginalization

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said the opening of the railway line to Lhasa in July 2006 “exacerbated concerns among Tibetans that they would be unable to compete economically with an anticipated influx of Han migrants.” In its World Report 2007, released on January 11, 2007, Human Rights Watch summarized some of the developments […]

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railway bridge on the Kyichu River

Security stepped up for opening of railway: elite armed corps travels on inaugural journey

China’s Ministry of Public Security has congratulated the People’s Armed Police and security personnel for guaranteeing that celebrations for the opening of the new railway to Lhasa in the first week of July took place without disturbance. The ‘patriotism’ of a highly-trained elite corps of armed guards from Beijing, Chengdu and Xining, who accompanied the […]

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Political repression intensifies as Tibet railway opens

Political repression intensifies as Tibet railway opens

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT » This report gives new information on intensified political repression in Tibet coinciding with the opening of the railroad, with Tibet’s Party chief emphasising a “fight to the death struggle” against the Dalai Lama and his supporters. The report also details the tight security in Lhasa and beyond this week, with military […]

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Lhasa railway station

Mixed messages from Beijing on Tibet railroad – permafrost may endanger its safety within a decade

Beijing has reported that the railroad linking the Tibetan plateau to central China has opened for freight, and will start unmanned test runs next month, following an unusual official admission that thawing permafrost on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau could threaten the safe operation of the railroad in as little as ten years. Despite these warnings of […]

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Global demonstrations target Bombardier offices: pressure increases on company to withdraw from controversial Tibet railway

Tibetans and their supporters will protest at Bombardier offices in nineteen cities around the world today to demand that the Canadian transportation company immediately end its involvement in a controversial railway being built through Tibet. Bombardier has come under fire from Tibetan rights groups for agreeing to supply rail cars for the Golmud-Lhasa railway; a […]

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Nortel protest

Tibet activists target Nortel’s annual meeting: company under fire for role in controversial railway

Toronto – Demonstrations will mark Nortel’s annual general meeting today as an international coalition of Tibet groups demands that Nortel Inc. withdraw from a controversial deal with the Chinese government. Nortel recently announced its intention to supply a digital wireless communications network for the Gormo-Lhasa railway, a project that forms the cornerstone of China’s efforts […]

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Bombardier protest

Activist scales hotel with Tibetan flag and calls on Bombardier to leave Tibet: activists say rail contract facilitates cultural genocide

Montreal – As Bombardier executives and shareholders left their annual general meeting at the Sheraton today, a student hung a Tibetan flag off the hotel as protesters below demanded: “Bombardier: hors du Tibet / out of Tibet”. The action was intended to draw attention to a campaign against Bombardier for its involvement in a highly […]

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railway bridge

Tibet activists target Bombardier’s AGM – company under fire for role in controversial railway

Montreal – Demonstrations will mar Bombardier’s annual general meeting today as an international coalition of Tibet groups demands that Bombardier Inc. withdraw from a controversial deal with the Chinese government. Bombardier recently announced its intention to supply railcars for the Gormo-Lhasa railway, a project that forms the cornerstone of China’s efforts to tighten its control […]

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railway bridge

Resettlement and railroad construction in Lhasa: new images

A new series of photographs obtained by ICT shows the extent of construction and development in Lhasa for the new Qinghai-Tibet Autonomous Region railroad. The set of images, taken late last year, show official notices announcing the relocation of local residents in the area of Ne’u (Chinese: Liuwu) township in Toelung Dechen county (Chinese: Duilongdeqing) […]

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