From Asia Times:
For centuries Tibet has been the embodiment of an exotic fantasy. A Buddhist Shangri-La, mysterious and remote, locked away within high mountains from the frenetic modernity of the outside world. But as the first train ever pulled up to Lhasa station on July 1 having hurtled across frozen tundra for more than 1,000 kilometers, a new chapter in Tibet’s history began.
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway has unlocked the gate to the top of the world and unleashed with it a torrent of admiration and criticism. It’s the world’s longest and highest highland railway, an engineering marvel the Chinese government says will bring about an economic renaissance in a region that has thus far remained poor and underdeveloped. However, critics have raised the alarm regarding the destructive potential of the railway for Tibet’s pristine environment and unique culture. [Full text]
See previous CDT coverage of the Qinghai-Tibet railway.