Kulma BCP along Tajikistan-China border closed for traffic, entrepreneurs suffer losses

5 months ago Web Desk 0

Relevant agencies of Tajikistan say China has closed its common borders with other countries as well.


Meanwhile, a top manager of the Khorog-based transportation company told Asia-Plus that the Kulma border crossing point would be opened for traffic only after Chinese New Year, which this year  falls on February 12.


The date of the Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar: the holiday falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice on December 21.


Chinese will celebrate New Year until February 27, but the public holiday lasts for 7 days from February 11 to February 17.


Tajik entrepreneurs, however, associate the closure of the border with the Chinese authorities’ politics aimed at protection of interests of Chinese entrepreneurs.


“They lure into their markets with favorable conditions, but when trade is already established, they start to gradually change the rules in favor of their citizens,” one of them told Asia-Plus in an interview.


Therefore, many entrepreneurs engaged in delivering goods from China to Tajikistan are suffering losses


The Kulma border-crossing checkpoint is the only overland border crossing along the 450-kilometer boundary between the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan and the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China.


Opened in 2004, the Tajik-China trade route runs from Khorog, the capital of Gorno Badakhshan in southeastern Tajikistan, over a high-altitude plateau and then down into China, where it ends in the city of Kashgar, 700 kilometers away.


As conditions are so tough at the Kulma border crossing, which is located on a mountain pass 4,400 meters high, until May 1 2008, the gateway had stayed open only 15 days out of every month, while from November through April it had been closed altogether.


From 2008 to 2012, the Kulma crossing operated every day, except weekends, from May through November.


Tajikistan and China reached an agreement on a year-round operation of the Kulma border-crossing checkpoint on December 29, 2011 but it became possible only in 2012, when all necessary conditions were created to ensure the year-round operation of the Kulma border crossing.


The Kulma Pass is a mountain pass across the Pamir Mountains on the border between the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan and the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China.  Asian Highway AH66 runs through the pass.


The pass opens from the north to the southeast, and is 500 m wide from north to south and 1 km in length from east to west with a gentle incline not exceeding 20 degrees.  On the Tajik side, the pass is 80 km by road to Murgab. On the Chinese side, the pass is 13.9 km from Karasu, a port of entry on the Karakorum Highway which leads to Tashkurgan (60–70 km) and Kashgar (220 km).


Source: Asia Plus