On November 16, a video posted on the internet showed sections of the Qinghai-Tibet railway had collapsed and halted operations.
Netizen @jackma1808 tweeted, “Major news on Chinese internet, the Beijing-Tibet railway has collapsed.”
Another netizen said that many sections in the Qinghai area collapsed and halted operations, and the number of casualties is unknown.
According to public information on Baidu, the Qinghai-Tibet railway was built in 1958, stretching about 1,200 miles. It took nearly 50 years to complete at a cost of 33 billion yuan (about $4.6 billion). The road from Golmud to Lhasa was built on permafrost. (With video)
The Chinese Communist Party claimed that opening the Qinghai-Tibet railway would reduce the cost of people and goods entering and leaving Tibet, while increasing the number of people entering Tibet.
The BBC reported that China’s high-speed train to Tibet has taken over the task of transporting troops to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
Most observers believe that the regime built the railway to facilitate the entry of Chinese troops into Tibet, thereby exercising tight control over Tibet.
Before the completion of the railway, the 18th Army Corps of the People’s Liberation Army had to get to Tibet on foot, marching two or three months, or by horseback at the fastest. After the completion of the railway, it took only 22 hours. Another BBC article reported that commentators had argued that the railway not only threatened the fragile environment of the Himalayas but also the ancient culture of Tibet.