BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping has called for improvements to transport infrastructure in Tibet Autonomous Region to boost the high-altitude region's development.
Marking the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet highways, Xi called the projects a miracle in road history.
"The two highways have played a vital role in Tibet's social system, economic and social development, as well as consolidating the southwest frontiers and promoting national unity," noted Xi in a written comment, which was made public on Wednesday.
The two roads, stretching 4,360 kilometers in total, were build in extremely harsh conditions with many technical challenges, Xi said, calling for authorities to keep true to that same spirit and inject more vitality to the transport system in Tibet.
In past decades, the government has spent relentlessly on highways in Tibet, investing 9.7 billion yuan (1.6 billion U.S. dollars). By the end of 2013, there were 48,678 kilometers of highway in Tibet.
In a guideline released last month, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said highways in the autonomous region would reach 110,000 kilometers by 2020.
The authorities plans to make sure that by then, every village in Tibet has at least one road connecting with the outside.
China also aims to complete a primary network of railways by 2020 with 1,300 kilometers of rails in operation. The country will build more airports in Tibet.
To that end, the MOT will beef up support to the construction of transport infrastructures in Tibet and make specific plans to ensure the accomplishment of these targets.