Final stretch of railway completed on loop around China’s largest desert

South China Morning Post published this video item, entitled “Final stretch of railway completed on loop around China’s largest desert” – below is their description.

The last stretch of track has gone into service to complete a 2,712km (1,685 miles) railway that loops around China’s largest desert, the Taklamakan. The latest section covering 825km (613 miles) went into operation in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on June 16, 2022, after three and a half years of construction. It connects Hotan city and Ruoqiang county along the southern edge of the Taklamakan. National railway operator China State Railway Group said the transport link can handle trains running at speeds of up to 120km/h (75mph) and is the first in the world that allows travel in a full circle around a desert. The opening of the Hotan-Ruoqiang segment came as Beijing doubles down its immense project to integrate the western region with the rest of the country, and as a growing number of Western companies try to diversity or decouple from the supply chain in Xinjiang which has been targeted by international sanctions over China’s alleged human rights abuses in the area.

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The South China Morning Post (SCMP), with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is a Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper founded in 1903. It is Hong Kong’s newspaper of record, owned by Alibaba Group.

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