Vice-president of the Austrian State Council Anna Elisabeth Haselbach cherishes a yearning for a trip to China's Tibet.
Meeting a Chinese delegation attending the "China Tibet Culture Festival," Haselbach said she hopes the Qinghai-Tibet Railway built on "the roof of the world" would help bring closer Tibet and the rest of the world.
The "China Tibet Culture Festival" being held in Austria on Oct. 18-29 is part of a series of activities marking the 35th anniversary of the establishment of China-Austria diplomatic ties. The Austrian government has designated 2006 as a "China Year."
Over the past 35 years, the friendly relations between Austria and China have always been good despite the changing international situation. Many Austrian people have a strong interest in Tibet, she said.
The train has been proved to be an environment-friendly transportation tool, but some European countries made excessive use of trains for development of tourism at the expense of the environment, said Haselbach.
Austria has valuable experiences in environmental protection and is willing to share expertise and cooperate with China in the Qinghai-Tibet Railway project, she added.
Extending her warm welcome to the two living Buddhas with the delegation, Haselbach said many Austrians believe in Buddhism, as they believe that Buddhism represents peace, kindness and tolerance.
"Such a spirit is just what we need to solve the current international problems," she said, hoping that Austria and China could join hands to promote world peace and stability.
The head of the Chinese delegation, Li Guangwen, a deputy head of the standing committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region's People's Congress, said the Chinese government has invested heavily in building the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
Before the launch of the project, relevant departments organized experts to study the local eco-system, and borrow good experiences from developed countries.
Li said data showed the railway has so far had no negative impact on the local environment.
(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2006)