Nathula reopens on Thursday after 4 decades | india | Hindustan Times
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Nathula reopens on Thursday after 4 decades

india Updated: Jul 05, 2006 12:08 IST

It will be the dawn of a new era in Sino-Indian bilateral ties on Tursday when border trade between the world's two most populous nations resumes through the famed Nathula pass after a gap of over four decades.

The reopening of the Himalayan pass, once part of the historic Silk Route and closed since the Indo-China war of 1962, would be another sign of warming of relations between the two Asian economic powerhouses in recent years.

Trade through Nathula, although on a limited scale in the beginning, promises to boost the economies of the land-locked mountainous regions of the two countries.

The reopening of the route comes little over a year after China accepted Sikkim as Indian territory and New Delhi recognised Tibet as part of China following the historic summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao in New Delhi in April 2005.

The status of Sikkim and Tibet had been a sore point in Sino-Indian bilateral relations since 1950 when Chinese troops marched into Tibet and Sikkim merged with India later in 1975.

The opening of the pass, to be attended by Tibet Autonomous Region chairman Qiangba Puncog and Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, is expected to boost the already flourishing bilateral trade which touched $18.7 billion in 2005 and is growing at more than 37 per cent.