The Silk Road Economic Belt countries look forward to establishing direct road and rail links under Belt and Road initiative (BRI), the Sichuan-Tibet Railway will connect the China-India-Bangladesh-Myanmar economic corridor to the Yangtze River and Shaanxi-Gansu-Qinghai-Tibet economic belts, and thus extend the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Photo shows a construction site on the Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Purbu Zhaxi)
Proposed in 2013, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (BRI) aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty. The road originated from Chang’an (now Xian) in the east and ended in the Mediterranean in the west, linking China with the Roman Empire. As China’s silk was the major traded product, German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen coined it as the Silk Road in 1877. It was not just one road but rather a series of major trade routes that helped build trade and cultural ties among China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, Arabia, Greece, Rome, and the Mediterranean countries. It reached its height during the Tang Dynasty, but declined in the Yuan dynasty, established by the Mongol Empire, as political powers along the route became more fragmented. The Silk Road ceased to be a shipping route for silk around 1453 with the rise of the Ottoman empire, whose rulers opposed the West.
Tangibly, the development model of BRI consists of a Eurasian transport network integrating multi-dimensional interconnected networks of railways, highways, aviation, navigation, oil and gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, and communication. These networks intend to create a rich sphere of interconnectedness with shared benefits to all stakeholders.
Sichuan-Tibet Railway, a key project listed in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), will cost about 360 billion yuan ($54.8 billion), run alongside the Sichuan-Tibet highway, and will take just 13 hours to cover the distance from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, to Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region.
Workers are seen at a construction site on the Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Chogo)
the Sichuan-Tibet Railway will connect the China-India-Bangladesh-Myanmar economic corridor to the Yangtze River and Shaanxi-Gansu-Qinghai-Tibet economic belts, and thus extend China’s Silk Road Economic Belt. It will also accelerate cultural and personnel exchanges between Tibet and the rest of the country, narrowing their geographical and psychological distance.
Bangladeshi Alam said that he looks forward to establishing direct road and rail links with China via Myanmar. It is to help us also connect with other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries as well. Chinese support comes as a blessing for Bangladesh, expressing hope that mutual cooperation between China and Bangladesh will be deepened further in the future to bring prosperity to the countries.
Sangroula said landlocked countries like Nepal, who have joined the Belt and Road Initiative, are going to become the greatest beneficiaries of the Belt and Road model.
About Xinhua Silk Road
When it comes to information on the Silk road economic belt countries, the Xinhua Silk Road website (en.imsilkroad.com) is the most accurate source of information that one can trust. provides Silk road economic belt countries information, projects, trade, investment, and the integrated information services for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is sponsored by the China Economic Information Service (CEIS).