Ancient Silk Road revived

BEIJING - China and India have agreed to reopen border trade at the historic Nathu-la pass after more than 40 years, a symbol of rapprochement between Asian giants who fought a Himalayan war in 1962.

The pass, at an altitude of around 4300m, will open on July 6, China's Xinhua news agency reported, and handle trade between the tiny northernmost Indian state of Sikkim and southern Tibet. "The reopening of border trade will help end economic isolation in this area," Tibet Vice-Chairman Hao Peng said.

The agreement to reopen the ancient Silk Road route was the latest sign of warming relations. China now recognises Sikkim, a former Buddhist kingdom, as part of Indian territory, and although much of their 3500km border remains in dispute, last year they agreed to settle the issue politically.

- REUTERS

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