14 Border Trade Points resume operations

KATHMANDU, MAY 26: A total of 14 traditional border trade points connected with northern neighbour China, including Kimathangka in Sankhuwasabha, resumed operations yesterday.

The Chinese government had closed various border checkpoints in 2076 BS due to fears of the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Vice President of the Tibet Autonomous Region Silang Nima jointly announced the resumption of all 14 trade points along the Nepal-China border, including Kimathangka, at an event organized in Chhentang, China.

DPM Shrestha informed that the operation of the traditional border transit points has been officially resumed. He stated that seven checkpoints started operations on Saturday, while the remaining seven will reopen soon.

Shrestha further shared that the reopening of the 14 trade points, including Kimathangka, was the result of continuous diplomatic efforts by the government.

The DPM mentioned that the agreement to resume the traditional trade points was reached during his official visit to China last March. DPM Shrestha was accompanied by the Chief Minister of Koshi Province, Hikmat Kumar Karki, joint secretaries from the Ministries of Home and Foreign Affairs, the Chief District Officer, and the chief of the district security agency on this occasion.

Locals of Bhotkhola were elated after the reopening of the Kimathangka border point. In the past, local residents used to import food from nearby Chinese markets via the trade point.

The customs office was established in 2035 BS in Kimathangka. After the decade-long armed conflict in the country, the border customs office at Hatia in Bhotkhola was shifted to Khandbari in 2057 BS. The Kimathangka point is 162 km from the district headquarters, Khandbari.