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Reopening of Nathu La trade route evokes mixed response

Written by: Staff
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Nathu La, India-China Border, July 6 (UNI) The historic Nathu La, which was reopened today after years of deliberations and discussions between India and China, evoked mixed reactions from the people on its possible impact and prospectives.

While some people felt that the reopening of the trade route will reduce military tension, bring economic development, generate employment, increase revenue and improve people-to-people contact some others apprehended that it would lead to price rise, adversely affect the business community, cause migration and pose a serious threat to the national security.

Mr B B Gooroong, a veteran politician and advisor to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, said, the reopening of the trade route will trigger investment activities in Sikkim and adjacent areas, expand market, lead to economic development and benefit regions located in both sides of the border.

Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee president Nar Bhadur Bhandari said the reopening of the trade route would do more harm than good to the country. It would pose a serious threat to the security of the country and affect the businessmen adversely as they would not be able to compete with the cheap Chinese goods that would flood the market.

He said the reopening of the trade route is not in the interest of the state as people have nothing to gain from it.

The state is not yet ready for the bilateral trade as the infrastructure particularly the road connectivity is not developed to take the burden of trade.

Mr Rit Karan Thirany (76), who had a flourishing business with Tibet before the Sino-Indian conflict, apprehended that the reopening of the trade route would give rise to espionage and smuggling.

Mr Thirany, running a chemist shop in the capital town fo Gangtok, warned the authorities not to trust the Chinese and tread cautiously as ''they have already stabbed us on our back when we extended our hand of peace, freindship and coperation.'' MORE UNI BD SJC MA RAI1132

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