Amid he fears of the Himalayan region’s unique Buddhist culture from getting lost, China set out Saturday, its first train from Beijing to Tibet. It carried business travelers and thrill-seekers for its first ride, making it the world’s highest railway.
Costing $4.2 billion, the state-of-the-art railway is an engineering marvel, crossing up to 16,500 feet high mountain passes. This project of the government will not only develop China’s poor west, but also bind restive ethnic areas to the booming east.
But, critics are damning the communication success as they fear that it will only bring a flood of Chinese migrants, not only by diluting the culture of Tibet, but also by threatening its fragile environment.