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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
In pictures: India-China trade route

Chinese traders walk between Indian soldiers after crossing the China-India border at the Nathu La Pass.

Border trade between India and China has resumed with the opening of the historic Nathu La Pass after more than four decades.

A Chinese soldier gestures during a ceremony marking the re-opening of the China-India border at the Nathu La Pa

The opening ceremony took place at the windswept border between India's Sikkim state and Tibet.

People walk with their belongings on a road close to the India-China border outpost in Nathu La Pass.

The Himalayan pass of Nathu La, 4,000m (14,000 feet) above sea level, was once part of the ancient Silk Road.

Chinese workers prepare a road along the India-China trade route at Nathu-La

There is feverish construction activity on the Chinese side to finish work on the 14,000ft (4,300-metre) high pass to facilitate traffic.

Labourers work on a damaged portion of Nathu La Road, about 11 kilometres (7 miles) from the India-China border outpost in Nathu La Pass

But the road connecting the pass to the nearest Indian town, Gangtok, is in poor shape.

A porter carries a television set on his back in a market in Gangtok,  the nearest town to Nathu La.

Studies suggest trade through the pass could reach $75m by 2010 and even double in the next 10 years.

India bank at Nathu La pass

A high-altitude bank automated teller machine is set to see better business with traders flocking to the border.

A Chinese soldier stands guard while Indian soldiers work at the Nathu La Pass.

China has accepted the border state of Sikkim where Nathu La is located as a part of India.

Indian and Chinese soldier at Nathu La

The trade route is a sign of rapprochement between the two sides who fought a fierce border war here 40 years ago.

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