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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

State Council Agrees to Research Construction of Sichuan-Tibet Railroad in Five Years

June 24, 2012

Beijing Qingnian Bao (北京青年报, Beijing Youth Daily), Feb. 23, 2012, . Complete text:)

The State Council has officially approved the Great Western Development Strategy of the 12th Five-Year Plan. According to the goals of the plan, during the 12th Five-Year Plan, 15,000 kilometers of railroad will be added to the railroad system in the west, bringing the total length of the railroad network to about 50,000 km. The government will research the building of railroads between Sichuan and Tibet.

As far as this paper understands it, the key first tasks and major infrastructure development projects of the proposed plan include strengthening railroad construction, speeding up the construction of cross-regional routes to connect the west with eastern and central areas (with an emphasis on building access to the sea to connect the west with the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the ocean areas around the Bohai Sea), and focusing on building north-south routes to connect the southwest with areas in the northwest.

The government will enhance the expansion and transformation of existing routes; systematically develop high-speed railroads; build a number of passenger rail lines between Xi’an and Lanzhou, Xi’an and Chengdu, and Chengdu and Guiyang; expand the capacity of major interregional routes such as building a second double-track rail line between Lanzhou and the Uygur Autonomous Region, and expanding the Chengdu-Lanzhou rail line and the Chengdu-Kunming rail line; build routes for coal transportation between western Inner Mongolia and central China; and build major rail lines in the west between Lhasa and Rikeze, and between Golmud and Dunhuang. The government will research the building of a Sichuan-Tibet rail line, speeding up the formation of the railroad network. The railroad network will cover about 50,000 km. More than half will have multiple tracks and more than 60% will be electric.

According to the plan, the government will complete major interregional rail lines, including a second double-track rail line between Lanzhou and Xinjiang, and a rail line between Lhasa and Rikeze. Express rail lines will be built, including between Zhengzhou to Chongqing and Yinchuan to Xi’an, etc. More rail lines will be planned, including Chengdu-Kangding, Lhasa-Nyingchi, Golmud-Korla, Dunhuang-Golmud, Huangtong-Baise, Liuzhou-Zhaoqing, Hami-Ejina, Qianjiang-Zhangjiajie-Changde and Beijing-Huhhot. Chongqing-Huaihua and Yinchuan-Lanzhou on the Baotou-Lanzhou line will get double tracks and the line from Huaihua to Liuzhou, the Jiaozhi-Liuzhou line, the double rail lines from Yangguangping to Ankang and the southern sections of the Luoyang-Zhanjiang and Baoji-Zhongwei lines will be electrified.
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