Construction of a trans-Himalayan rail link connecting China and Nepal is planned for completion within seven years following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries on June 21. A joint statement said that the two countries had agreed 'to intensify implementation of the MoU on co-operation under the Belt & Road Initiative to enhance connectivity encompassing components such as ports, roads, railways, aviation and communications within the framework of trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network'. The Lhasa-Xigase railway in Tibet, which opened in 2014, is currently being extended westwards, and a 540km section as far as Kyirong free trade zone is expected to open in 2020. According to China's Deputy Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, the 150km cross-border link would run south from Kyirong to Kathmandu via the existing border crossing at Rasuwagadhi, 75km north of the Nepalese capital.
Railway Gazette International, Aug. 2018. p.11.