China to build important “passageway” to South Asia through Tibet: report

K J M Varma
·2-min read

Beijing, Mar 5 (PTI) China has included building of an important “passageway” connecting Tibet with South Asia in the 14th Five Year plan which is due to commence from this year, the official media reported on Friday.

China will support Tibet in building the passageway to South Asia, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the 14th Plan document which was submitted to the National People’s Congress, (NPC), China’s Parliament.

The annual session of the NPC began here on Friday.

“China's Tibet Autonomous Region will be supported to build an important passageway opening to South Asia,” state-run Xinhua news agency reported briefly.

The draft outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035, which were cleared by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) have been submitted to the NPC for formal approval.

Though the Xinhua report has not mentioned, China has been planning for a long time to build the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network through Tibet and Nepal.

It was regarded as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation between China and Nepal.

Nepal under the present government of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has moved closer to China, firming up especially the trans-Himalayan connectivity network.

In 2019, China and Nepal signed a protocol to operationalise their 2016 Transit Transport Treaty which provided access for the landlocked Himalayan country to use Chinese ports for its foreign trade, reducing the dependence on Indian ports.

Besides the road network, the two countries are considering the extension of the rail network from Tibet to Nepal.

Last year, state-run China Daily here reported that preparatory work is underway for a cross-border railway connecting Tibet and Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.

Meanwhile, work will start on the China-Nepal Friendship Industrial Park in Jhapa, eastern Nepal, early next year. The park is the first of its kind launched with Chinese investment.

These two projects form part of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, the report said. PTI KJV RUP AKJ RUP