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China opens new route to Tibet via Nathu La for Indian pilgrims

first_imgChina opened a new route along the Himalayan Nathu La Pass for pilgrims from India travelling to Tibet, in a step to further promote religious exchanges between the two countries.The first group, consisting of 43 Indian nationals entered Tibet autonomous region via the pass, starting a 12-day pilgrimage to the sacred religious sites of Mt Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in Ngari prefecture.Upon their arrival, the local authorities’ provided the pilgrims with free jackets, backpacks and blankets.“This new route is safer, more convenient and more comfortable than the former one,” said the Vice Chairman of the Tibet Regional Government, Dong Mingjun, at the pass. It will shorten the pilgrimage time from more than 20 days to about eight, he added.China’s ambassador to India, Le Yucheng, said the pass was the result of a consensus reached by both Chinese and Indian leaders when the Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India in September. Le believes that it will promote mutual understanding and communication between the peoples of the two countries. He travelled from New Delhi to Nathu La Pass for the occasion.“We hope to use this opportunity to strengthen strategic mutual trust between China and India, expand co-operation in all fields, promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges, properly handle our divergences, boost common development, and take the bilateral relations of our two countries to a new historical level,” Le added.About 250 pilgrims in five groups of 50 are expected to travel to Tibet along the new route this year. Among the first group, some pilgrims had dropped out for health related issues. Another 18 groups of 60 pilgrims will undertake the pilgrimage along the old route.last_img read more

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