Author: Xie, Angxi
Title: China-nepal railway construction : gravity model based geo-economic feasibility study and effects on regional development as cross-border transport infrastructure
Advisors: Hou, Yuting (BRE)
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2023
Subject: Railroads -- Economic aspects
Railroads -- Social aspects
China -- Foreign relations -- Nepal
Nepal -- Foreign relations -- China
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Building and Real Estate
Pages: ix, 141 pages : color illustrations, maps
Language: English
Abstract: The consensus of building a cross-border railway between China and Nepal was conceived after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in the 1950s. With China’s OBOR initiative and AIIB’s introduction, the Nepalese government agreed to develop connectivity with China through the development of cross-border infrastructure such as rail and road networks. In December 2022, the two countries conducted the final feasibility study. The China-Nepal Railway starts from Shigatse in the east and goes west through Gyirong into Nepal before reaching Kathmandu. This is a cross-border railway of strategic importance, yet construction has not begun for other reasons, despite the maturity of technologies.
This study starts with a geo-economic perspective on the construction of the China-Nepal Railway. It forecasts the bilateral trade flows between China and Nepal up to 2045 based on the gravity model, and the passenger and freight demand of the railway based on the forecasted trade flows. Subsequently, it concluded that the cost payback period after the completion of the railway is about 20 years. Meanwhile, this study investigates the effects of the China-Nepal Railway on the regional development of Nepal and Tibet, as well as the potential risks in construction. Finally, countermeasures are proposed to provide a reference for relevant authorities to mitigate the potential risks and accelerate the construction of the China-Nepal Railway.
The effects of the China-Nepal Railway on regional development are mainly four aspects: economic, social, ecological, and political, and the risks also coexist in these four aspects. The positive effects include promoting trade and regional economic integration, increasing accessibility and connectivity, enhancing regional cohesion and geopolitical influence, etc. The risks include unequal distribution of benefits, debt crisis, habitat fragmentation and disruption, vegetation and geotechnical destruction, political polarization, regional conflicts, etc. The feasible suggestions are to establish mechanisms to balance the equal development of the region, to maintain reasonable financial and accountability systems, to establish effective ecological monitoring mechanisms and to encourage open and transparent diplomatic dialogues, etc.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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