They said it was impossible to build a railway to Tibet. There were 5,000m-high mountains to climb, 12km-wide valleys to bridge, hundreds of kilometres of ice and slush that could never support tracks and trains. How could anyone tunnel through rock at -30C, or lay rails when the least exertion sends you reaching for the oxygen bottle? But that’s the sort of challenge today’s China relishes. Next month, three years ahead of schedule, more than 1,000km of fresh track will link the garrison town of Golmud in China’s ‘wild west’ and the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, strengthening the regime’s grip on this troublesome corner of the empire and confirming its status as a technological superpower.
Lookout! China is the new cowboy in town, wanting to go higher, bigger, faster. Great piece in the Guardian.