China reopens border with Nepal for goods movement

Beijing (PTI): Amid mounting pressure on Nepal’s government over dwindling supplies of goods from India due to the ongoing violent agitation over the new Constitution, China today reopened its border with Nepal in Tibet which Chinese officials say will see “explosive growth” in trade.

China port. Reuters File Photo.

The border was closed after the road along the route on both sides was damaged during the massive April 25 earthquake in Nepal which also partly affected border regions in Tibet.

The border land port at Jilung, a county in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, reopened today, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The road leading to the port finally reopened after months of repair, allowing the port to operate once more, Sun Lijun, head of the port’s management committee in China said.

He said trade at the port will see “explosive growth” after a huge fall in border trade following the quake. Nepal has been Tibet’s largest trade partner since 2006.

The port, about 130 kms away from Nepalese capital Kathmandu, used to be the largest port linking the two regions, but it gradually lost its importance due to weak infrastructure.

At the end of last year, the port was expanded to boost bilateral economic and tourism development.

Yesterday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying told media that Beijing is expediting efforts to reopen the border.

Nepal faces dwindling supplies of essential commodities from India due to the violent agitation by Madhesis – Indian-origin inhabitants of the country’s southern plains – over the newly-promulgated Constitution.

Madhesis and Tharu ethnic groups are protesting for more representation in the Constitution.

They see the model to split Nepal into seven federal provinces as flawed and discriminatory to their rights. More than 40 people have died in the violent agitation. Nepalese politicians have been saying that they will turn to China for supplies. China which has been providing substantial aid in recent years and has acquired strategic influence in Nepal countering India’s support base.

It remains to be seen how much of supplies China could rush due to logistical problems as the goods have to travel through the rugged Himalayan terrain of Tibet.

Observers say that though Tibet is well connected over the years with rail, road and air links, providing Nepal with supplies of oil, gas and essential food supplies for a prolonged period could pose a challenge for China.

In 2014, the foreign trade volume of Tibet dropped by nearly 33 per cent year-on-year, largely due to a major landslide in Nepal that disrupted road traffic between Tibet and the Tatopani trade port in Nepal from August to October.

Nepal, a land-locked country bordered by India on the south, east and west, and China on the north, is dependent on its neighbours for transit and supplies.

2 Comments

  1. Nepal has been insulted by Modi by his hollow photo shows and insulting “relief operations”. Now, even the supplies are throttled. Modi is pushing Nepal to the laps of China!

    No investments would come if people are lynched to death on rumours of beef eating, the freedom of speech is muffled by Hindutva forces with impunity, BJP leaders are justifying or trivializing the inhuman acts and atrocities.

    MODI IS BLISSFULLY IGNORANT OF THE RSS ATROCITIES AND AND INDULGES IN VOTE BANK POLITICS FROM INDIAN SHORES AND FOREIGN LANDS, INDISCRIMINATELY.

    POWER FOR BJP IN KASHMIR AT THE COST OF ALARMINGLY HIGH INCIDENCE OF TERRORISM, AND REPELLING FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN INDIA BY THE FOREIGNERS THROUGH HINDUTVA EXTREMISM IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY.

    AS RIGHTLY SUGGESTED BY ADVANI, MODI WOULD BECOME A RUTHLESSLY SILENT DICTATOR, WITH OUT ANY TWEETS OR “MANKI BAATH” TO DISCHARGE RAJA DHARMA AND SOOTH THE WRONGED AND KILLED!

    HE QUOTES THE PRESIDENT BUT NEVER SAYS WHAT HIS REACTION IS!!!

  2. India, simply to punish the Government of Nepal due to their decision to keep Nepal as a secular country with 2/3 majority decision which was not pleasing to the Modiji Government; so created bottlenecks in the shifting of goods from India to Nepal, thus caused serious shortages. Mr. Modi’s keen intention was to change Nepal, the 2nd largest Hindu populated country in the world (2nd to India) as a solid Hindu theocracy like the olden days; but China jumped into the boat at the right time. The religious card game plan didn’t work there.

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