DUSHANBE, December 30, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Tajikistan and China have reached an agreement on a year-round operation of the Kulma-Qarasou border-crossing checkpoint on the Tajik-Chinese border in Gorno Badakhshan.

On Thursday December 29, Tajik Government, represented by Minister of Transport Nizomiddin Hakimov, and Chinese Government, represented by Chinese Ambassador to Tajikistan Fan Xianrong, singed here an agreement on border-crossing checkpoints on the Tajik-Chinese border and regimes of operation for them, the Tajik MFA information department reports.

Under this agreement, a status of international crossing was given to the Kulma-Qarasou border-crossing checkpoint.  The sides also agreed that this border-crossing checkpoint will operate year round, the source said.

We will recall that since May 1, 2008, the Kulma crossing has operated every day, except weekends, from May though November.

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.