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China-Pakistan border trade in modern age

09-02-2012 11:31 BJT

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Xinjiang has a long history of trade with neighboring counties. Thousands of years ago in the Han Dynasty, the Silk Road linked China and Central Asia. CCTV reporter Lin Nan follows the trail of the ancient caravans to look at the border trade between China and Pakistan in the modern age.

Heading west, thousands of kilometres still lie ahead.

Entering Tashkuergan County, we come across a maintanence team responsible for the 300 kilometres of road to the border with Pakistan.

Abudureheman, Technician of Tashkuergan Road Bureau, said, "We’ve been seeing more heavily-loaded trucks and done more maintanence in recent days. During the busiest times, we have to work 12 hours a day."

Altitude sickness is major concern at Hongqilapu port, which is 4700 metres above sea level. To make life easier for travellers, most customs and immigration processing through this port was moved to Tashkuergan County, which is 1500 meters lower - in 1993.

Deng Jianguo, Truck Driver, said, "We drive daily essentials like clothes and shoes to the neighboring countries. This season is very busy, sometimes customs officers have to work overtime."

More measures have been taken to encourage the border trade.

Xu Gang, Deputy Director of Kashgar Ports Collegium, said, " Since 2005, travellers carrying goods under 3000 RMB haven’t been charged tariffs. And we increased the limit to 5000 RMB last year. Immigration processing was also simplified for residents in certain areas of Pakistan."

The locals are making the most of these policies.

The policies help encourage two-way flow. Traditional Pakistani souvenirs like stone jewelry and brass wares are commonly found in the town.

Syed Fayaz Gissain, Manager of Pakistan China Friend Gift Shop, said, "My feeing is that it’s good to do business here, because in China business is good compared with Pakistan. In the future, we may extend our business… open another shop."

This man is not alone in such ambition. A large number of foreigners have opened shop here – hoping to make a fortune of the opportunity.

 

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Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CCTV.com

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