Tuesday, February 7, 2012
What is the situation with the new railroad from Shanghai to Tibet? What did this project cost and why do some in Tibet see it as a threat?
A railroad was constructed was first proposed in 1917-1920 to be 100,000 km long and travel through China into Tibet. Because of a lack of funds and technology, it was not completed for many years. They started building a small portion of it in 1959. The majority of the railroad was not built until 2001 and took 5 years to complete. The first passanger train to travel along the railroad was not until 2006. The highest point of the railroad is 16,640 feet above sea level. These high elevations have caused some deaths among passengers, and it is not required that every passenger has access to an oxygen mask and one doctor travels in every passenger train. There are 45 train stations with a plan of adding 13 more. The cost of production was about $3.68 billion. Some Tibet people see this railroad as a threat because they feel China built it to strengthen their control over Tibet and would encourage more Han immigration from China.
Here is a link about the first passenger train to travel the railroad: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2006-10/01/content_700851.htm
My favorite passage was in The Resolution of Spirit. It was the fifth paragraph when Aung San Suu Kyi's son said "It is on their behalf that I thank you, from my heart, for the supreme honour. The Burmese people can today hold their heads a little higher in the knowledge that in this far distant land their suffering has been heard and heeded". I like this passage because I feel like it shows the fact that the Burmese people have been suffering for a long time without feeling support or care from the outside world. It had to be hard for them to go through all of this and feel completely alone and powerless. When he talks about the fact that they know they have finally been heard, I think it was probably a huge relief for a lot of people living there knowing they could get more help now and that people from far off in the world cared about their well beings.
Posted by Kelly Stasiulewicz at 8:42 AM