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China's strategic highway to Indian border set for completion

December 13, 2010

PTI, Dec 11, 2010

BEIJING: China has inched closer to completing the construction of a strategic highway in a remote Tibetan county close to its border with India, which is likely to boost its capability to move troops and logistics quickly to the borders.

Motuo, the remote Tibetan county from where Brahmaputra river enters India, would soon have a highway connecting it with the rest of the Tibetan plateau and Chinese mainland.

The harsh natural conditions meant building a highway connecting Motuo to outside world was once considered a dream. However, with the last tunnel due to be completed for the Motuo highway, the dream will come true, China's state-run CCTV reported today.

Construction of the highway, which began in April 2009 and expected to be completed next year, has its own strategic significance as the county was virtually the last post on the China-India border.

Located on the southern slope of the Himalayas, Motuo would now have a 117-km long highway connecting it with the nearby Bomi county.

During the past few years, China has embarked on a massive effort to strengthen its rail, road and air infrastructure in the remote Tibetan plateau connecting its mainland.

While it has vastly improved the infrastructure facilities in the Himalayan region, it has caused concern in India as it provided the strategic capability to Chinese troops to move quickly to the borders.

It has prompted India to beef up infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as part of Southern Tibet.

Amid the long-standing boundary dispute, India and China have held a series of border talks to resolve the differences on demarcation of some of the areas of the 4,000 km-long boundary between the two countries.

Recently, India also conveyed concerns to China over Beijing's plans to build a dam over Brahmaputra.

China in its response assured New Delhi that it planned to build a run of the rive project to generate electricity and not a dam to block the water.
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