A Tibetan activist group has released a report Thursday criticizing China's railway to Tibet, accusing the Chinese government of using the rail to plunder the region of its natural resources.
In its report, Washington D.C. based International Campaign for Tibet says the nearly two-year-old railway has accelerated the migration to Tibet of Han Chinese, China's main ethnic majority group, threatening Tibetan culture.
The report argues that the railway has made it more efficient for China's manufacturing centers to access Tibet's raw resources such as iron, copper zinc and other materials to make the world's televisions, DVD players and other electronics.
China's Foreign Ministry dismissed the key claims of the report and praised the Qinghai-Tibet railway for improving exchanges.
"We believe the Qinghai-Tibet railway has played a positive role in promoting Tibet's economic and social development," spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news conference, adding it had proved a "huge benefit".
Chinese officials have hailed the construction of the railway, saying it will bring more tourism to Tibet, and open up new markets for Tibetan products.
The Tibetan railway is the world's highest, rising above five-thousand meters in elevation.