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China's trade with Nepal through Tibet border picks up

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

China's trade with Nepal has picked up since the border crossing point in Tibet opened in October to rush petroleum products and other essential items following the Madhesi protests in southern plains over the Constitution, the state media reported.

A total of 5,965 tonnes of cargo valued at USD 43.5 million was exported to Nepal between November 10 and December 10, through Jilung, one of the two major ports linking Tibet and its largest trading partner Nepal.

Jilung, or Kerung in Nepalese, was closed for about six months after an 8.1-magnitude earthquake in Nepal.

Due to the earthquake, foreign trade volume in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region dropped by 35.1 per cent year on year to USD 545 million in the first half of 2015.

Now, an average of 100 trucks pass through the port every day, Pu Zhengjiang, deputy inspector of Jilung port, about 130 km from Nepalese capital Kathmandu, was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua agency.

The trade point was opened to rush petroleum products and other essentials which became scarce due to blockade imposed by Madhesis demanding changes in the new Constitution adopted by the Constituent Assembly on September 20.

Madhesis, who share strong cultural and family bonds with Indians, have imposed a general strike in much of southern Nepal, causing a shortage of fuel and other essential goods.

Madhesi leaders have submitted an 11-point demand to the Nepal government to end their protests over "discriminatory" nature of the Constitution.

Their demands include re-demarcation of provinces, fixing of electoral constituencies on the basis of population and proportional representation.

So far, over 50 people have died during the Madhesi-Tharu agitation.

First Published: Mon, January 04 2016. 20:32 IST