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China and India to hold talks for reopening Nathu La pass for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims

China said today that it is willing to initiate talks to reopen the Nathu La pass. It may be recalled that the Nathu La pass is used by Indian pilgrims to visit the most sacred pilgrimage of Kailash Mansarovar. The Chinese authorities had closed the Nathu La pass in June, citing bad road conditions due to rains and landslides. However, the real reason was the standoff between India and China in the Doklam border region. The Doklam issue has now been resolved with forces of both countries retreating from their positions. As such, there is hope that the Nathu La pass will be reopened. The Nathu La pass is the second route that leads to Kailash Mansarovar. It was opened by China in 2015 and it is shorter than the primary route that passes through Lipulekh pass.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said today that China is willing to communicate with the Indian government regarding the reopening of the Nathu La pass. Shuang said that China will also discuss other issues relating to the Indian pilgrims who visit Kailash Mansarovar. Shuang pointed out that China has made significant efforts to provide the best facilities and convenience to Indian pilgrims even when working in extremely harsh weather conditions.

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