Chinese people are famous for the prowess in the construction of politically motivated projects; the most popular one of course is the Great Wall of China. The recent project they have embarked on is the Tibet-China Railroad, which is built 16,000 feet above sea level. There were actually several problems that delayed the completion of the said project, one of which was the frequent nosebleeds unacclimatized workers experienced during its construction since the air is quite thin in high elevations. Considering that the Tibet-China Railroad is the steepest and highest train line in the world, a few deaths and blackouts occurred but not once did it deter the Chinese authorities from finishing the project.
The Chinese government has planned on this ambitious project for quite a long time, disabled dating as far back during the reign of the great Mao Zedong. The Chinese were undaunted by the sheer complexity of the project and pushed hard for its realization. It is expected to be completed in 2007 but had become fully operation since June 1, 2006. About 16 trains will operate daily carrying tourists and ordinary passengers through breathtaking 36-hour rides.
Both the Tibetan and Chinese government expect an increase in the number of tourists who visit Tibet annually. The Tibet-China Railroad have officially opened the country that was virtually isolated for so many decades. Many Chinese citizens have also decided to relocate to Tibet, which would hopefully boost the economic arena of the country. Tibet is known to have great reserves of silver and ore, and consequently the railroad is expected to intensify mining operations in the region.
However, China’s large-scale aspirations have triggered concern and alarm to many Tibetans, who have been traumatized in its struggle to maintain its identity under brutal rule of the Chinese communists. Although the project will significantly raise the Tibetan’s standard of living to a much higher level, the fear of the obliteration of Tibet’s rich heritage and religion is an all too certain reality.
Tibet is presented with a grim fact that they have no control of. Yes, the Tibet-China Railroad will greatly benefit their economy, significantly cutting down the transportation costs of commodities, and attracting more tourists to visit the region. However the price they have to pay is much too high. Right from the very start, the Chinese government didn’t bother to consult the Tibetan authorities regarding this project and its consequences. Once again, Tibetans will be forced to accept the grim truth that the Chinese have successfully wrestled their nation’s power and control right under their noses. And once again, they are left with no choice but to submit to the demands and ruthlessness of the Chinese regime in their beloved country.