During the demonstration, businessmen were present with placards with a message — ‘Ensure smooth movement of containers, ensure the safety of Nepalis living at the border, abide by international trade laws, abide by trade and transit agreements, take initiative for easy trade with China, and end undeclared blockade’ among others.
They said that importing Chinese goods through Rasuwagadhi was very difficult.
Nepali businessmen have also complained that they had to pay a hefty bribe to Chinese agents to import goods across the Earlier, locals had staged a protest against China at Tatopani checkpoint in Sindhupalchowk district bordering China saying that China has imposed an ‘undeclared blockade’, hitting their lives hard.
It should be noted that Nepal’s Industry, Commerce, and Supplies Minister Lekhraj Bhatta had earlier expressed dissatisfaction over China’s recent behavior over trade with Nepal.
He had also slammed China for blocking trade with Nepal for a year under various pretexts.
It should be recalled that a transit agreement was signed between Nepal and China on March 21, 2016.
Nepal was then expected to be able to exercise its right of transit through Chinese territory and help increase Nepal’s exports.
Meanwhile, the transit protocol was signed on April 29, 2019, during President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s state visit to China to implement the agreement.
As mentioned in Article 15 of the Protocol, the agreement had to be implemented exactly one month after each country informed the other of its enforcement.
According to the exchange of information on internal preparations, even though China provided the information with some delay, even though the protocol has to be implemented from February 1 last year, Nepal has not been able to reap the benefits so far.
China had, according to the protocol, allowed Nepal to use four open seaports and three open dry ports.
The seaports approved by Nepal are Shenzhen, Tianjin, Zhanjiang and Lianyungang, while the dry ports are Lhasa, Lanzhou and Shigatse.
Nepal has six border ports in China for transit. Although Nepal has access to Rasuwa-Jilong, Kodari-Jangmu, Kimathangka-Chhentang, Nechung-Liji, Yari-Pulan and Olangchungola-Riu ports, it has not been formally used.