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  China to spend US$700m on Tibetan roads  
 
Author:sichuan Source:china-panda time:2006-3-29

Women weave in the courtyard of their mountain home. China is now planning to spend around 700 million dollars on a vast new road network for Tibet. [AFP]

With an historic train line to Tibet about to open, China is now planning to spend around 700 million dollars on a vast new road network for the Himalayan territory, state press has reported.

China will this year spend 5.7 billion yuan on road construction in Tibet as it starts building 21 highway projects and nine other major new roads, the Xinhua news agency said.

Part of the money will pay for upgrading the highway connecting the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal with Tibet, a mountainous region which has long had poor roads.

Highways have still not reached more than 1,000 villages in Tibet, while only half of the region's roads have been topped with asphalt, Xinhua quoted Zhao Shijun, chief of Tibet's communications bureau, as saying.

Over the past five years, the Chinese government has invested about 1.81 billion dollars on building and upgrading roads and highways in Tibet.

The government is meanwhile building the first railway to link Tibet to the rest of China, with the 1,142-kilometer (708-mile) Qinghai-Tibet line due to open in July.

China hails the line as a major step in developing and modernizing Tibet and improving the living standards of its residents.

 
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