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N 28° 21′ 32′′, E 85° 21′ 03′′
2,507 MASL
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Ancient Rasuwa Fort in Rasuwa District, Nepal, with the Gyirong Port building in the background across Gyirong/Trishuli River in China. Built by the Nepalese army during the Nepalese–Tibetan War (1855–1856), the fort was partially damaged during the construction of a new cross-border bridge in 2013.

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Trucks entering Nepal from China through Gyirong–Rasuwa Port. The port was well used for two decades since the early 1960s until it was outcompeted by Zhangmu–Kadori Port in the 1980s. The port regained its glory in 2015, when the Nepal earthquake destroyed facilities and roads at Zhangmu–Kadori, and freight was redirected to Gyirong–Rasuwa.

1839: Qing authority over Tibet weakened gradually in the latter half of the 19th century given the weight of Qing’s domestic and foreign-relations burdens, particularly, the Opium War (1839–1842 and 1856–1860) and Taiping Civil War (1850–1864).


1850: Situated on the eastern bank of Gyirong River, which is a tributary of Trishuli River, Gyirong was a long-established caravan stop on the Tubo–Nepal trade route and the Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road connecting the Tibetan Tubo Kingdom and Nepal. Russian and British rivalry for control of Central Asia prompted the Tibetan government to ban all foreigners and shut borders.


1855: During the Nepalese–Tibetan War (1855–1856), the Nepalese army invaded Gyirong and built a fort at Rasuwa. The war was ended by the 1856 Treaty of Thapathali, in which Nepal recognized Qing’s suzerainty over Tibet, and the Tibetan government agreed to not impose customs duties for Nepalese products.


1904: Following the British military expedition to Tibet (1903–1904), Britain forced Tibet to sign a trade agreement to forestall any Russian overtures.


1911: After the Qing dynasty was overthrown during the 1911 Chinese Revolution, Tibet became a de facto independent state, comprising the western half of the Tibetan Plateau before the 1951 annexation by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).


1951: Further negotiations between the PRC and Tibetan representatives were conducted after the 1950 Battle of Chamdo, eventually resulting in the annexation of Tibet by the PRC.


1956: China and Nepal signed a new treaty in 1956 terminating the 1856 Treaty of Thapathali, and Nepal recognized Tibet as part of China.


1961: Gyirong Port was established one year after the signing of the 1960 Sino–Nepalese Border Treaty and Sino–Nepalese Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Gyirong Port (1,837 MSL) is located 25 km downstream from Gyirong Town (2,700 MSL).


1972: China and Nepal jointly built a wooden suspension bridge (Rasuwa Bridge 1) across Gyirong River to connect Gyirong and Rasuwa.


1979: The road connecting Gyirong Town and Gyirong Port was completed, and a stele suspension bridge (Rasuwa Bridge 2) was built and opened to traffic.


1985: Gyirong–Rasuwa Port was well used for two decades until the 1980s, when the bulk of China–Nepal cross-border trade began to flow through the Zhangmu–Kadori Port after the upgrading of its border facilities and Friendship Highway connecting Zhangmu and Lhasa. The port was used mainly for barter trade among border residents in the mid-1980s.


2008: Several development initiatives were launched in the region after the 2008 Tibetan unrest, including the construction of the South Asia Trade Corridor.


2014: Preparatory work for the expansion of Gyirong Port began in 2009. Gyirong Port was reopened, and a new stone bridge (Rasuwa Bridge 3) connecting Gyirong and Rasuwa was opened to traffic in 2014.

2015: Gyirong–Rasuwa played a minor role as a cross-border trade route until after the 2015 Nepal earthquake, which severely damaged the cross-border route through Zhangmu–Kodari.


2016: China and Nepal signed a treaty on trade and transit, including a plan to build a railway from Kathmandu to Shigatse, which is the southern end of the Qinghai–Tibet railway. Zhangmu–Kodari was selected as the railway’s point of entry, and an agreement over the prefeasibility study was reached in 2018.


2020: The Shigatse–Gyirong section of the China–Nepal Railway entered the survey stage.

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