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Press Release: Ambassador's visit to Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)
10/21/2014
Embassy of India
Beijing

Press Release

Ambassador Ashok K Kantha is currently on a visit to Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of the People's Republic of China. 

He began his visit with a meeting with Mr. Jiang Jie, Vice Chairman of the Government of TAR in Lhasa on 19 October 2014. 

During the meeting, Vice Chairman Jiang and Ambassador Kantha recalled the recent successful visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India and the decision taken during the visit to open an additional route for pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar through the Nathula Pass. Vice Chairman Jiang assured Ambassador that all preparatory steps are being taken to open the new route in the summer of 2015. He also briefed Ambassador about the efforts being taken by the Government of TAR for upgrading facilities for pilgrims through existing route across Lipulekh Pass. Vice Chairman also gave a briefing on the socio-economic situation in Tibet. 

Ambassador Kantha told Vice Chairman Jiang that the Government of India appreciated the decision to open a new route for the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar through the Nathula Pass and hoped a large number of pilgrims would be able to use this route beginning the summer of 2015.  Ambassador and Vice Chairman agreed that the two sides should work closely to ensure smooth commencement of the pilgrimage. 

Ambassador called for expanding the inherent potential in trade and economic cooperation between Tibet and India. The two sides also discussed the possibilities for expanding border trade. There was a shared desire to expand cultural contacts. In this connection, Ambassador Kantha invited Government of TAR to be actively involved in the India-China Cultural Exchange Initiative that was launched during President Xi's visit. 

The meeting was followed by a dinner hosted by Mr. Jiang Jie in honour of Ambassador.

On 20 October, Ambassador and Mr. Ju Jianhua, Director General of the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office had a detailed discussion that focused on the modalities for opening new route for KMY through Nathula in 2015. The same day, Ambassador Kantha exchanged views with Mr. Bian Ba, Director General of Department of Commerce on the potential for expanding border trade through Nathula.

Vice Chairman Jiang and Ambassador Kantha are currently visiting Yadong, Shigatse, Renqinggang and Nathula mainly in the context of opening of Nathula for pilgrimage. In addition, they will also explore the possibilities for enlargement of border trade. From
24 to 25 October, they will be visiting places associated with pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar in Ali Prefecture. 

21 October 2014
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