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China’s Next Generation Infrastructure Development in Tibet: Implications for India


Introduction


It has been 71 years since the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the local government of Tibet signed a 17-point agreement on “the peaceful liberation of Tibet” (Central Tibetan Administration, May 23, 2019). Nevertheless, the region remains a major source of insecurity and vulnerability for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The PRC considers Tibet an integral part of China and since 1999, has invested heavily in the region’s dual-use infrastructure under its western development strategy (西部大开发, xibu da kaifa) (China Brief, November 19, 2021). Under General Secretary Xi Jinping, emphasis on infrastructure development in Tibet has continued. China has not only invested in conventional infrastructure development such as roads, railways and airports, but also in border defense villages, and next generation infrastructure including internet connectivity projects (for a discussion of the PRC’s construction of transportation infrastructure in Tibet, see part one of this series, China Brief, November 19, 2021) )


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