China to extend world's highest rly link to Nepal

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Kathmandu, Apr 26: China is planning to extend the world's highest rail link to Nepal by extending it from Tibetan capital Lhasa to Nepal's border within five years. A visiting delegation of Chinese communist party headed by Director General of the International Department Ai Ping called on Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala yesterday and informed that the Chinese government is set to extend Qinghai-Tibet Railway to Khasha at Nepal-China border within next five years.

The delegation also informed that China has included the railway line extension in its ongoing eleventh five-year plan. ''Ping informed that the extension of the broad gauge railways from Lhasa to Khasa has been incorporated in China's 11th five-year-plan and that the project was expected to be completed within five years,'' Prime Minister's foreign affairs advisor Aditya Baral told the Himalayan Times.

Mr Koirala had repeatedly requested the Chinese authorities to extend the railways to Khasa. Expressing happiness over the latest decision, the PM told the visiting Chinese delegation that expansion of air, road and railway links up to Nepal border would help consolidate the existing exemplary diplomatic ties.

The 1,142-km rail link between China and Tibet opened in July 2006. It passes through spectacular icy peaks on the Tibetan highlands, touching altitudes of 5,000 metres.

UNI

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