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Development

China to Open Two Trade Passes and New Road to Link Tibet

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/05/24; May 14, 2001.]

KATHMANDU, May 11 (AFP) - China has agreed to open two trade routes and build a new road connecting Tibet to Nepal, Foreign Minister C.P. Bastola said Friday.

The three new routes would improve trade and tourism exchanges between the two neighbours, Bastola told a press conference.

"There is already a 78-kilometre-long road between Kathmandu and Trisuli, north of here, and so only 44 kilometres (28 miles) of the new road to Kerung (Tibetan border) will have to be constructed," Bastola said.

The first road linking Kathmandu with Lhasa was completed in the sixties.

China would ink its intent to build the road when Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited Nepal May 14, as part of a South Asian tour.

A further five agreements would be signed during his three-day trip, Bastola said, including measures to avoid double taxation and boost tourism.

Zhu will meet with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala Monday when the two are expected to discuss bilateral economic and technical cooperation totalling 10 million dollars.

China is one of Nepal's biggest donors offering on average 10 million dollars each year in economic aid.

In the fiscal year 2000, Nepal's imports from China and Tibet were recorded at 166.6 million dollars against exports of 51.8 million rupees (6.8 million dollars).

China will be keen to secure guarantees from Kathmandu that it will clampdown on pro-Tibetan activists in Nepal, an official with the foreign ministry said adding: "But we will not allow Tibetans or anybody else to use Nepalese soil against a friendly nation."


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