China reopens border crossing with quake-hit Nepal

Passengers ride an overcrowded bus as limited public transportation operates in the city during the fuel crisis in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Passengers ride an overcrowded bus as limited public transportation operates in the city during the fuel crisis in Kathmandu, Nepal. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has reopened a border crossing with Nepal that had been closed since the spring after being damaged during an earthquake, China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday (Oct 15).

The Himalayan nation has faced problems bringing in supplies of food and fuel as routes from India have been blocked by protesters opposing Nepal's new constitution.

The Nepali government had asked China to hasten the reopening of two border crossings. They have been closed since two earthquakes killed more than 9,000 people in Nepal in April.

"The China-Nepal Jilong border crossing that was damaged during the Nepal earthquake at present has reopened," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

"As far as I know, today the Chinese side through this border has already transferred a supply of aid goods and materials," she said, adding that China would continue to send aid based on Nepal's needs.

Nepal is sandwiched between India and China, which themselves have a festering border dispute. The two Asian giants have used aid and investment to court Kathmandu for years. China is also a close ally of Pakistan, India's neighbour and arch-rival.