|June 29, 2017 -- Q: Yesterday at the press conference, Indian journalists asked about when China will reopen the Nathu-la pass for Indian officially-organized pilgrims' journey to Tibet. When did China open this route for pilgrimage? What is China's consideration behind? Based on what you said yesterday, can we assume that China would only consider reopening the route when the Indian border troops return to the Indian side of the boundary?
A: As I said yesterday, in the interests of China-India friendly relations, the Chinese side has made enormous efforts against all odds to facilitate Indian officially-organized pilgrims' trip to Tibet.
In the light of the consensus between leaders of China and India, and the fact that the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary has been delimited as recognized by both countries, the Chinese side approved the opening of the pilgrimage route via the Nathu-la pass in the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary for officially-organized Indian pilgrims in 2015. The arrangements ran well over the past two years, and the relevant department of China has previously made preparation for this year's reception.
We have told the Indian side that the arrangement was put off as an emergency measure in response to the change of the situation caused by the Indian border troops' trespass.
I want to stress that Indian pilgrims' trip to Tibet requires necessary atmosphere and conditions. The Indian side is to blame for the trip not being able to take place as scheduled. As for when the pilgrimage route will reopen, it totally depends on whether the Indian side can correct its mistake in time.