Lhasa: China's new infrastructural plan of constructing 4,000 kms of railway lines by 2025 and building 59 new airports and 300 helipads by 2035 will crisscross Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is 'dual-use' in nature as it will help the country to enable the rapid deployment of its forces and will fulfil Beijing's strategy of cultural assimilation of Tibet, Tibet Right Collective reported.

The fast-paced growth of infrastructure in Tibet is clearly a road for the country to serve the People's Republic of China's (PRCs) ambitious goal.

According to the Tibet Policy Institute, China hoped that this infrastructural strategy will help in crushing all the expressions of dissent, and they will ultimately subdue and disintegrate the resistance of the Tibetans within and outside of Tibet. Cities in Tibet like Lhasa, due to the influx of Chinese migrant workers along with the rapid urbanisation are seeing a growing trend of intermarriage between Tibetans and Chinese.

China came up with the plan to build a railway network of 5,000 km or more, including 1,000 km of double-track railway lines in TAR by 2035 under its 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), reported Tibet Right Collective.

Currently, TAR has only three railway lines in operation: the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which opened in July 2006, the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway, which opened in 2014, and the Lhasa-Nyingtri Railway, which will open in 2021. According to the report, TAR had 1,359 kilometres of railway lines in operation as of the end of 2021.

The railway network, however, will cover all prefecture- and city-level administrative regions in TAR and provide convenient access to Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, and other neighbouring provinces, as well as major land ports along the border, according to the report.

According to the report, the TAR also intends to build an international railway corridor to South Asia in order to open the international railway channel between China and South Asian countries.

Major new railway lines scheduled to open by 2025 include the section between Ya'an in Sichuan Province and Nyingtri city in TAR of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, the section between Shigatse and Pelku Lake in TAR of the Xinjiang-Tibet Railway, and the section and County to Ranwu Lake of the Yunnan-Tibet Railway, as per the report in Tibet Right Collective.

China claimed that since the 1990s, the government of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has made "an unprecedented scale of investment in infrastructure build-up in Tibet, specifically in the areas of connectivity such as railways, roads and airports". Investments were also made in Tibet to build hydro-power energy, for urbanization, mining, tourism, military and government infrastructure. These massive investments in infrastructure build-up are in fact, a Chinese strategy to strengthen its control over the region that it unlawfully invaded and occupied.