Monday, July 17, 2006
Nathu La (border trade)
As soon after the leaders of China and India reopened the boarder trade through the Nathu La pass on July 6, the Chinese Army officers shake hands, hugged and posing for photographs with Indian soldiers, most of them infantrymen form the Black Cat Division raised way back in 1941 to guard the Sino-Indian boarder along Sikkim. After all, 2006 is nothing like 1967, when there was an artillery duel on the 14,400 feet high pass. Border trade was halted long before that in the wake of the 1962 India-China war. These are different time, Last September; our soldiers play volleyball right in Nathu La with Chinese army men. Indian-Chinese soldiers make eye-to-eye talk with each other everyday, that one day the two Asian giants will reopen the trade, and are always on maximum alert. Because of the soldiers Hope in boarder, the Nathu La has reopened.
At the 2 degree C, a drizzle anything, hundreds of guests on the Indian side shiver, but the warmth of the occasion was palpable and trade were eager to take the fabled Silk Route used by merchants in the 19th century. What about the trade itself? The people in Sikkim were amazed that India, and China two powerhouses are hoping to boost business by trading in things like Yak tail & Hair. Most of the things we can import form China are yak tail, yak hair, goatskin, sheepskin, horse, goat, sheep common salt and china clay. India’s export list includes, blankets, bicycle, tea, coffee, liquor, herbs and hardware. There was a long queue of some 80 Indian traders awaiting the nod to be driven over to the China. Many like to import Electronic goods. India-China trade rose to 18.7 billion $. This year it expected to reach 22-23 billion $. Nathu La, the third boarder trading point to be opened, is the most important because it controlled almost 80% of trade in the pre-war era. India likes to have a friendly relationship with neighbor countries, hope this trade must give us some.