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Nepal, China agree to activate bilateral mechanism to resolve border dispute


Nepal, China agree to activate bilateral mechanism to resolve border dispute

Kathmandu: In order to resolve the border dispute and sign a new border protocol, Nepal and China have agreed to activate bilateral mechanisms.

During a virtual consultation meeting on border affairs held on Thursday, the two sides agreed to activate the border mechanism first agreed in 1963 when signing the first border protocol, the Nepalese ministry of affairs said. Foreign Affairs.

Underscoring the importance of joint inspection of the Nepal-China border, the two sides agreed to initiate the process of activating the existing bilateral mechanism through mutual consultations, the ministry said in a statement. .

The 1963 Joint Delimitation Protocol provides for the establishment of three different mechanisms to deal with delimitation issues: the Joint Inspection Team, the Joint Panel of Experts and the Joint Inspection Committee.

The mechanisms were enshrined in the Nepal-China Boundary Protocol signed between the two countries on January 20, 1963. Three boundary protocols have been signed between Nepal and China in the past – in 1963, 1979 and 1988. Both parties have implemented aside the draft signature. the fourth protocol after much delay in 2011 due to a dispute.

Although the Nepalese government and the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu categorically deny having a border dispute, Nepalese media have occasionally reported border frictions between China and Nepal in Humla, Gorkha, Rasuwa and other districts.

The main bone of contention is the exact location of Pillar No. 57. After the two sides could not agree on the height of Mount Everest and the exact location of Pillar No. 57, the signing of the fourth protocol has been in limbo since 2011.

The meeting also reviewed the overall status of Nepal-China relations and held discussions on various issues relating to border and border management between the two countries, the ministry said.

After activating the boundary mechanism, the two sides will jointly conduct boundary inspection, resolve disputes and sign the new boundary protocol.

Lok Bahadur Thapa, Head of the Northeast Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Hong Liang, Director General of the Border and Maritime Affairs Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led their respective delegations during the meeting.

The two sides have also agreed to resume bilateral trade through the Rasuwagadhi/Keyrung border port in accordance with Covid-19 health protocols and guidelines. The two sides will establish an epidemic prevention and control mechanism for this purpose.

China has stopped importing goods and products from Nepalese trading points citing Covid-related restrictions, and Nepalese traders have called on the government to pressure China to resume bilateral trade.

During the meeting, the two sides also agreed to open new trading points in western Nepal.

In order to support the livelihoods of people in the northern Himalayan region of Nepal, the two sides have decided to open the border port of Hilsa/Purang for the transport of goods and construction materials from China in putting in place the necessary Covid-19 protocols, according to the press release. added.