What is the News?
China has completed building a highway in a remote part of southeastern Tibet Autonomous Region(TAR). It includes a 2 km mountain tunnel.
About the Highway:
- Firstly, the Highway passes through the world’s deepest canyon, the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon in Tibet. The canyon is located along the Brahmaputra river(known as Yarlung Zangbo in Tibet).
- Secondly, the highway connects the Chinese city of Nyingchi with Medog County in Tibet. It will reduce the travel time between the two by around eight hours.
- Thirdly, Significance: The highway is part of China’s ambitious plans to build roads and tunnels along the length of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India. It is connecting far-flung areas to inland cities and airports.
Concerns for India:
- Firstly, the Highway enables greater access to remote areas along the disputed border with Arunachal Pradesh in India.
- Secondly, the highway will play a key role in the surveying of and planning for the mega Yarlung Zangbo hydro-power project. China is planning to build this project at the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon.
Other Projects of China along Border Areas:
- China has begun work on a strategically significant railway line that will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi in Tibet. It also lies close to the Arunachal Pradesh border.
- In 2017, the Chinese Government launched a plan to build “moderately well-off villages” with Civilian settlements in the border areas.
- These villages will be located close to the border areas, some of which lie in disputed territories claimed by India and Bhutan.
- Example: In 2020, satellite images showed a new village called Pangda being built by China. This village is located in the area claimed by Bhutan.
Source: The Hindu