Nepal's Prime Minister Urges China to Bring Road and Railway Network Closer to Border བོད་སྐད།

Nepal's Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has urged the Chinese government to extend road and railway networks in neighboring China closer to the Nepalese border.

Mr. Koirala made his remarks during a meeting with Chinese officials on Wednesday and as Beijing hosts a two-day "China Tibetan Cultural Forum" in Kathmandu.

China is already assisting the country in its construction of a 16-kilometer long road that links a highway (Syafrubesi-Rasuwagadhi) in central Nepal. The road that is being constructed starts about 100 meters from an existing bridge across the China-Nepal border.

The road's construction is expected to begin in early 2008.

Maintaining influence in Nepal is important to China because hundreds of Tibetans cross the Himalayas from their Chinese-ruled territory to Nepal every year.

Some Tibetans try to reach Dharmsala a northern town in India, where the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, lives.

China wants to ensure that Tibetans do not have easy passage through Nepal.

Chinese troops took control of Tibet in 1950. At the end of the decade, Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled the region to live with followers in India.