China on Sunday opened a 409-kilometre-long expressway linking Tibet’s provincial capital Lhasa to Nyingchi, a city close to the Arunachal Pradesh border in India, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The toll-free expressway links the two major tourist attractions in Tibet, and cuts travel time between them from eight to five hours, the report said.

Most expressways in Tibet have been built wide enough to transport military equipment. In September, Beijing announced that it had opened a strategic highway from Tibet to the Nepal border that could be used for defence purposes if needed.

Such massive infrastructure development in Tibet has prompted India to ramp up infrastructure on its side. The India-China border covering the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) is disputed territory. On August 28, China and India agreed to end a lengthy standoff at Doklam plateau in Sikkim sector that began in June, when Indian troops entered the plateau to stop China from building a new road.