China Reopens Nathu La Route For Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

China has confirmed "resumption" of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the Nathu La route, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said.

He also noted that the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via Nathu La was not undertaken last year after the Chinese government cited "unfavourable conditions" to ensure the safe and smooth conduct of the yatra on this route.

The yatra was stopped by China in the aftermath of the military face-off with India last year at Doklam. China demanded withdrawal of Indian forces from the site.

The standoff began on 16 June after Indian troops intervened and stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area claimed by Bhutan as it posed a security risk to the Chicken Neck, the narrow corridor connecting India with its Northeastern states. Finally, the two armies “disengaged” on 28 August.

"This matter was raised by the government with the Chinese government, including during the meeting of the External Affairs Minister with the Chinese Foreign Minister in December 2017. Subsequently, the Chinese government has confirmed resumption of the yatra on this route," Singh told Lok Sabha in a written reply recently.

On Thursday, addressing a gathering at the Chinese Spring Festival reception at the embassy here, Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui said, "New Year is like a blank book. The pen is in our hands. We have already started writing a new chapter of China-India relations. Recently, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited India successfully. The Pilgrimage arrangements have been made now." The four-month travel period to the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra starts from June.

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