China to extend railway link by 2020
KATHMANDU, APR 02 – China plans to extend its Qinghai-Tibet Railway network up to Kerung, the nearest Chinese town from Nepal, by 2020.
The rail connectivity will improve trade, tourism and people-to-people relations between Nepal and China, Losang Jamcan, chairman of Tibetan Autonomous Region, told President Ram Baran Yadav during their meeting in Lhasa on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.
President Yadav, who arrived from China on Wednesday after attending the annual conference of Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan Province, had made a stop at Lhasa during his return.
China has already expressed its readiness to extend its rail network up to Nepal. During his Nepal visit in December last year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had requested the Nepal side to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed railway extension project from the Tibetan city of Shigatse to Kathmandu and beyond.
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway was extended up to Shigatse in August last year. The second-largest city of Tibet, Shigatse is 540km from Kerung. Kerung is 35 km from Nepal’s Rasuwa district.
Meanwhile, Minister for Urban Development Narayan Khadka said the President’s China visit marked an important milestone in Nepal-China relations. President Yadav’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Nepali delegation participating in the Boao Forum for Asia after 10 years, and China announcing an aid of Rs 14 billion to Nepal were the major highlights of the visit, said Minister Khadka.