China imposes unannounced blockade at Rasuwagadhi, Tatopani border entry points


August 12, 2022


China imposes unannounced blockade at Rasuwagadhi, Tatopani border entry points

Tatopani border entry point/File Photo

KATHMANDU: In yet another unsympathetic gesture, China has imposed an unannounced blockade at two border entry points with Nepal.

China’s move comes soon after Nepal’s Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka returned to Nepal after his two-day China visit this week.

Foreign Minister Khadka then claimed that his visit to the northern neighbor has helped in furthering the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

However, the Chinese side imposed a blockade without any official information to the Government of Nepal.

China has justified the closure of border entry points citing the spread of Covid infection in Tibet.

Rasuwagadhi and Tatopani are the two major entry points from where Nepal imports goods from China.

Head of Tatopani Customs Office, Narad Gautam, said that after the Chinese side has sealed the Tatopani border, and vehicles have been stopped since Wednesday.

“China has stopped sending vehicles citing Coronavirus pandemic,” said Gautam adding ht was unaware when the borders would be opened.

As many as 8 to 10 cargo trucks used to bring goods through Tatopani crossing each day.

With China’s unannounced blockade, Nepali traders are in trouble.

Bharat Karki, General Secretary of Nepal Himalayan Cross Border Commerce Association, said that after the closure of the border, readymade garments brought for festivals were stopped on the way.

“The garments and other materials brought for Teej have been stopped,” he added.

It should be noted that Nepali markets are dominated by Chinese goods.

Businessmen estimate that goods in the Nepali market may become more expensive after various materials including readymade garments brought targeting festivals have been stopped in China.

“The Chinese side has always been giving trouble to Nepali traders in one pretext or the other,” a businessman said.

Even though the checkpoints were operational after the outbreak of Covid, only a few cargo trucks were allowed to enter Nepal.

Although 200 to 250 trucks used to enter Nepal daily, barely 25-30 vehicles were allowed to enter Nepal recently.