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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China-Nepal cooperation looks up

July 20, 2010

The Himalayan Times
July 19, 2010

KATHMANDU, (Himalayan News Service) -- China is
expanding its engagement with Nepal by building
what is being billed as the biggest land port
connecting it with the South Asian region as a
whole. This is seen by observers as part of a
larger move to connect Xigaze with Nepal by rail.

"The port will remain as an alternate port that
will facilitate the trade between Nepal and
China, presently we only have Tato Pani Route,"
said Kailash Bajimaya, under secretary at
Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS). China
has granted zero tariff for 4061 exportable
products and for this Nepal should make its
supply side strong and produce those products
also, he added. According to Bajimaya, study over
the route and its infrastructure development is going on.

The local government of the Tibet Autonomous
Region (TAR) has said that the Gyirong Port
located in TAR’’s Xigaze Prefecture will begin
operations in 2011 although some portion of the
construction work will continue even after it is
opened to public. The construction of the land
port began in 2009 and the local government has
now given instructions to speed up the process.

Bilateral activities few years back have
witnessed progress towards realisation of this
most felt-need in Nepal. In December 2007, the
Government of Nepal (GON) and Tibet Hongji
Construction Industrial Group signed an agreement
in Kathmandu to implement a delayed Chinese
assisted Syafrubesi - Rasuwagadi road project.
Chinese government had agreed in 2001 to help
Nepal construct this 16-km (10 mile) road in Rasuwa district of central Nepal.

The road now under construction starts from 100
meter away from existing bridge across
China-Nepal border. The road in a modern sense
will restore the link central Nepal had with
China through the famous ancient trade gateway of
Kerung (Gyirong or Chilun) in Shigatse. The
purpose is to make Gyirong, the “biggest land
trade channel of TAR to South Asia" over the next
three to five years, the local government said.
The idea is to apparently build it as a border
post larger than Nathula on the India-China
border and the existing border post connecting
the Chinese town of Zhanmu and the Nepali town of
Dram. There are five other minor points for
overland trade on the China-Nepal border, which
are Kodari-Nyalam; Rasuwa-Kerung; Yari
(Humla)-Purang; Olangchunggola-Riyo;
Kimathanka-Riwo, and Nechung (Mustang)-Legze.

Nepal has offered to import petroleum products
from China are it is connected with rail. "Our
Government sincerely urges China to consider
further extend and upgrade the existing linkages
up to the border of Nepal. An expanded and
enhanced connectivity between the two countries
also open the avenues for Nepal being a transit
country between the two giant economies, China
and India," a Nepali government statement said.
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