7 Aug, 2015
KATHMANDU, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — The Araniko highway that links Nepal and China reopened Thursday after being blocked for more than 100 days.
The 114-km highway, which suffered severe damage due to the landslides triggered by the torrential rain after the April 25 earthquake, reopened after five-day joint operation of Chinese armed police officers and the Nepalese Army, police and armed police force.
Addressing a reopening ceremony organized here, Nepalese Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said the reopening of the highway has provided a deep sense of relief as there will be smooth movement of vehicles and trade and tourism will resume.
“The highway connects the two countries. The Nepalese government highly appreciates the dedication and hard work of the armed police officers in making this operation successful in a very short period of time,” Pandey said.
The Chinese team had entered the Himalayan nation on Aug. 1 to clear the 37-km Tatopani-Khadichaur stretch of the highway.
Upon receiving an emergency aid request from the Nepalese government, China had dispatched 100 armed police officers. While initial estimation indicates that the operation would take around 20 days, the 41 spot of blockades have been cleared within five days.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Wu Chuntai said China is willing to go all out to help Nepal in its reconstruction efforts.
“Natural disasters such as earthquakes and landslides go beyond the border, and the Chinese people sympathize with Nepal’s sufferings in the earthquakes and their aftermath,” he said.