Seven traditional border trade points with China including Kimathangka reopened

Published On: May 26, 2024 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 26: Following continuous diplomatic efforts by the Government of Nepal, most border crossings with trade points to China including the Kimathangka transit in Sankhuwasabha have reopened for service from Saturday.

A special ceremony was organized in Chhentang in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China on Saturday to officially announce the reopening of the traditional border trade points between Nepal and China. Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Vice President of TAR of PRC, Shilang Nima, were present on the occasion.

Chinese ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, extended warm congratulations to the reopening of seven traditional border trade points between the two countries on Saturday. He said that the remaining seven trade points will be opened soon when weather conditions allow. "That will greatly boost cross-border trade, and improve local residents' livelihoods and connectivity," he wrote on X.

These border crossings were shut down by the Chinese government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are being reopened after four years of negotiations, dialogue, and agreements between the high political leadership of Nepal and China.

A total of 14 border trade points in the northern region including Kimathangka were closed for the past four years. An agreement was reached to gradually open all the trade points along the Nepal-China border during the official visit to the People's Republic of China by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha last April.

The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung, Tatopani-Jhangmu, Yari-Puran, and Nechung-Lichi (Korala) trade points have already come into operation. The Tiptala border crossing in Taplejung also resumed operations on Friday.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by DPM and Foreign Minister Shrestha, including Chief Minister of Koshi Province Hikmat Kumar Karki, joint secretaries of the ministries of home affairs and foreign affairs, the chief district officer, and high-ranking officials of security agencies in the district, visited Kimathangka on Saturday to participate in the opening ceremony of the reoperation of all 14 trade points along the Nepal-China border, including Kimathangka.

Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha was joined by Vice President of China's TAR, Silang Nima, to announce the reoperation of the trade points, including Kimathangka-Chentang, amid a ceremony.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese side agreed to open seven different border crossings from Saturday, with other border crossings to be opened gradually. Border crossings in Darchula, Dolpa, Mustang, Gorkha, Dolakha, Taplejung, and Sankhuwasabha districts were opened from Saturday.

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