Sino-Indian border at Nathula opens for 2018 trade season


Bude, assistant chief of staff for the Tibet Public Security Border Defense Corps (left), shakes hands with Indian official attending the ceremony to open the Sino-Indian border at Nathula for trade in 2018.[Photo/China News Service]

In early May, the annual ceremony to open the Sino-Indian border at Nathula for trade was held in Yadong County, Shigatse City, Tibet.

At the event, with the opening of the customs gate, Chinese and Indians who had been waiting on both sides passed through the border, and Tibet ushered in the annual Sino-Indian border trade season.

The Nathula Mountain Pass is an important border passage on the Sikkim section of the border between China and India. Sitting 4,300 meters above sea level, it is the highest trade passage in the world and the nearest land trade passage between China and India. Though forced to close in 1962, the passage was reopened 44 years later in 2006, restoring border trade between China and India. In 2015, in order to make it easier for Indian pilgrims to visit holy sites in Tibet for pilgrimage, China agreed to open up pilgrimage routes via the Nathula border crossing.

Mima Tsering, deputy governor of Yadong County in Shigatse City, said that with the advancement of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Yadong has become an important window for opening Tibet to South Asia with its clear geographical advantages. Since the resumption of the border pass 12 years ago, border trade in Yadong has increased rapidly, varieties of traded goods have continued to increase, and the volume of trade has risen year after year. As a result, the level of local economic development has also improved.