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China Completes First Railway to Tibet


China has announced completion of its first railway to Tibet, placing the train line connecting the isolated region to the rest of China among the highest in the world.

The completion of the more than 11-hundred kilometer long railway was marked with a ceremony Saturday in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

The official China Daily says the highest point of the railway is more than five-thousand meters above sea level.

The newspaper says construction of the railway took four years to complete, with travel still 15 months away to allow for testing and to put signals in place.

Critics of the railway say it will bring a flood of ethnic Chinese migrants to the region.

Chinese troops occupied Tibet in 1950. The region's traditional leader, the exiled Dalai Lama, has been struggling to gain some form of autonomy for his homeland since a failed anti-China uprising in 1959.
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