Houston Community News >> China to Build Highway on Mount Everest

6/20/2007-- China has started improving the road to Mount Everest on the Tibet side to make the trip to the world’s highest mountain easier for bearers of the Olympic flame, Xinhua news agency reported.

The 150 million yuan ($19.66 million) project will involve blacktopping an existing 108-km (67-mile) unpaved road up to the foot of the mountain, and will take four months to build, Xinhua said in a report late on Monday.

“On completion, the highway will become the major route for tourists and mountaineers who are crowding onto Mount Qomolangma, known in the West as Mount Everest, in ever larger numbers,” it added.

The mountain is on the Nepal-China border, and it is possible to climb it from either side.

The torch relay for the 2008 Beijing Games has been touted by organizers as the longest in Olympic history, but it has already been dogged by controversy. Self-ruled Taiwan, viewed by China as a province to be reunified by force if necessary, has refused to let the torch pass through for political reasons, a move that has infuriated Beijing.

The inclusion of Tibet, ruled with an iron hand by China since People’s Liberation Army troops marched in 1950, has proved equally controversial. In April, China deported five American tourists after they demonstrated for a free Tibet and protested against the Games at the base of Mount Everest. ($1=7.629 Yuan)

(Contributed by WeirdAsiaNews.com)