China on 31 October 2013 opened a new highway that links Medog to Zhamog-located near the border with Arunachal Pradesh.
The highway linking Medog, the last roadless county in China, with neighboring Bome county in Tibet formally opened to traffic, ending the county’s isolation from the outside world. The 117-km highway, which cost 950 million yuan (155 million U.S. dollars), links Zhamog Township, the county seat of Bome, and Medog in Nyingchi Prefecture in southeastern Tibet.
The road will be accessible for 8 to 9 months per year, barring major natural disasters. The Zhamog-Medog starts along the Number 318 National Road in Zhamog township in Bomi County. It goes through the 4400-meter high Galung La Mountain and cross 6 rivers, to reach Medog. The opening of the Medog road will greatly lower transportation costs and will also improve medical care and educational facilities.
With this new highway, every county in Tibet is now linked through the highway network, underlining the widening infrastructure gulf across the disputed border, even as India belatedly pushes forward an upgrading of border roads in more difficult terrain.
China first started attempting to build the highway to Medog – a landlocked county in Tibet’s Nyingchi prefecture – in the 1960s, in the aftermath of the 1962 war with India.