Saturday, February 2, 2013

Requirements of peacetime and war

As already mentioned on this blog, Tibet would like to double the number of incoming tourists by 2015.
Xinhua recently quoted Padma Choling, the outgoing TAR's Chairman: "Tibet will strive to lift its number of incoming tourists to 20 million by 2015, nearly doubling the figure recorded last year."
While opening the first session of the 10th Tibet regional People's Congress, he stated that "Tourism has become one of the leading economic growth engines for the plateau autonomous region, which hosted 11 million tourists last year with revenue from the tourism sector topping 13.2 billion yuan (2.12 billion U.S. dollars)."
To receive these millions of tourists who come to breath the fresh air of the Tibetan plateau, infrastructure is required.
This article of the China Tibet Online speaks by itself.
A few days earlier, China Tibet Online had announced: "The Lhasa-Shigatse railway, known as a national key project, has completed the track-laying according to the Ministry of Railways of China."
The Chinese news agency provided more details: "The Lhasa-Shigatse railway is the extension line of Qinghai-Tibet railway. By the end of 2012, the project had completed 82.3 kilometers track laying, 27.83 percent of the total construction. It is predicted that all the rail-laying would be completed in 2013."

The Lhasa-Shigatse railway company has already invested $1.22 billion in the project: "The finished roadbed and earthwork construction was 18.1 million cubic meters, accounting for 76.39 percent of the total. The whole tunnel project has finished 61,520 meters, accounting for 85.13 percent of the total."
It is estimated that the Lhasa-Shigatse railway will cost $2.14 billion for an annual volume of goods transported of 8.3 million tons; there will be 13 stations along the 253-kilometer railway line.

Long before he became General Secretary of the Party (and Chairman of the Central Military Commission), Xi Jinping advocated Chairman Mao’s theory of  “the synthesis between the requirements of peacetime and  war.”
In other words, civilian infrastructure projects such as airports and railways should be designed to also serve war-time needs.
In 2007, Xi stated “we must implement Mao’s strategic concept of the ‘unity between soldiers and civilians’ and both the army and regional civilian authorities should assiduously pool our resources in the preparation for military struggle.”

These roads and railway lines built for Han tourists might one day be useful 'to protect the borders'.

Tibet highway increased by 2,069 km in 2012
Lucy Qin
China Tibet Online
January 29, 2013
According to the ongoing first session of the 10th Tibet People's Political Consultative Conference held in Lhasa, the newly-built highway numbered 2,068.568 km in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in 2012.
By the end of 2012, the total distance of the highway in TAR has amounted to 65,200 km, including 5,618.20 km national highway, 6,336.66 km provincial highway, 12,689.41 km county road, 16,195.48 km township road, 2,144.22 km village road and 2,893.84 km of accommodation highway.
In addition, there are altogether 6,452 highway bridges with 170,090.79 linear meters as well as the maintained road of 57,549 km.
By the end of 2012, all seven cities, 60 counties, 691 townships and 5072 villages in Tibet had been covered with asphalt road.
Among all the 257,800 vehicles in the whole region, there are 20,000 commercial vehicles to operate 365 passenger transport routes.
So far, 9.705 billion yuan (about US$1.56 billion) of fixed-asset investment in transportation infrastructure has been completed, increased by 20.60 percent.
Among all the investment, 4.521 billion yuan (about $0.73 billion) has been invested into the rural road construction, covering 411 villages with highways and 15 towns with asphalt roads.
Altogether 772 million yuan (about $124 million) has been regulated to launch the construction of highway to temples; and therefore, 1,810.79km highway leading to temples has been completed. There are 59 highway projects under construction, 31 continuing projects, 28 newly-commenced projects and 11 completed projects.

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