A breakthrough has been made in the Protocol of Nepal-China Transit and Transportation, in which Nepal is allowed to use 4 Chinese sea ports and 3 dry (land) ports. The breakthrough was realised after senior leaders sat for the third time to discuss the key points.
Nepal may use 4 sea ports (Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang, and Zhanjiang) and 3 dry (land) ports (Lanzhou, Lhasa and Xigatse/Shigatse) of China to trade with other third party nations. The protocol breaks a long standing Nepalese reliance on India for trade with other nations.
China will now issue permits to Nepalese trucks ferrying Nepalese goods to the rest of the world up till Xigatse dry port and similarly allow Nepalese inbound cargo from Xigatse to Nepal. Accordingly, Nepalese traders may use any mode of transport (rail/road) to either import or export their cargoes to/from Xigatse. For the purpose any of the four permitted seaports may be used.
The Transit and Transport Agreement has also listed access to Chinese territory from six checkpoints – Rasuwagadhi, Tatopani in Sindhupalchowk, Korala in Mustang, Kimathanka in Sankhuwasabha, Yari in Humla, and Olangchung Gola in Taplejung.
The breakthrough came after a third meeting between senior officials of Nepal and China. The Nepalese side delegation was led by Rabi Shankar Saiju (Joint Sec at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies) and the Chinese team was led by Wang Shuiping (Director General at the Dept. of Transport Services). The meeting was held in Kathmandu on September 5th and 6th. The earlier two meetings were held in Lhasa and Beijing respectively.