China’s ‘magical road of heaven’ – Pallavi Aiyar

From Asia Times:

For centuries 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 ’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.

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