China gives Nepal access to its ports, ends India’s dominance

Nepal and China have formalised a transit protocol agreement that will give the former power to access Chinese ports for international trade, a report by Reuters stated. This brings an end to Nepal’s dependence on Indian ports for trade.

The two government’s officials after a series of meetings, signed the agreement on Thursday night. The agreement allows the transit of goods from other countries to Nepal via all of China’s ports, including Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianygang, Zhanziang and dryports that include Lhanzin, Lhasa and Shigatse, the official release stated.

Overland trade to and from Nepal is now routed mainly through Kolkata which takes up to three months, officials said. The southern Vishakhapatnam port has been opened up by New Delhi for trade.

Earlier, Nepali Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli, while speaking to the press in Kathmandu Airport, stated that his visit to China had ‘further enhanced the friendship and bilateral cooperation between the two countries in wide-ranging areas including cross-border rail and road connectivity’, reported news agency PTI.

During his six day visit to China, Oli held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, signing a memorandum of understanding to build a strategic railway link connecting Tibet with Kathmandu through the Himalayan terrain. Both sides agreed to implement the verdict they had reached during Oli’s visit in 2016.

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