Highway linking Xizang's largest cities opens to traffic

A high-grade highway linking the two largest cities in southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region officially opened to traffic Sunday, cutting travel time between the cities in half, said the regional transport department.

The highway, linking the regional capital Lhasa and Xigaze, the region's second-largest city, stretches 245 km. The four-lane highway cuts down travel time between Lhasa and Xigaze from about six hours to three hours. So far, the mileage of high-grade highways in Xizang has reached 1,196 km.

The highway is one section of the national highway that links the city of Ya'an in southwest China's Sichuan Province and Yecheng County in the Kashgar Prefecture of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

"The high-grade highway will serve as an important channel linking Lhasa and the west of Xizang. It will also play a crucial role in further optimizing the regional road network structure, improving the national comprehensive transport channel, and facilitating the region's further opening up to South Asia," said an official of the regional transport department.

The high-grade highway marks another significant development in Xizang's transport after the 251-km railway line that links Lhasa and Xigaze was put into operation in 2014.