Border monument at the Khunjerab Pass Photo: sino-us.com by Wu Jie
At an altitude of 4,900 meters above sea level, the Khunjerab Pass is the world’s highest port in the world. It’s a two-hour drive from the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Kashgar in Xinjiang.
Bordering on northern Pakistan, the pass was officially opened to both China and Pakistan on August 27, 1982. From May 1, 1986, it has been also opened to third countries. The checkpoint was built on a patch of flat ground in the mountains, from where towering snow mountains are within an arm's distance.
The Khunjerab Pass is located on highland, with severe natural environment. In Persian, the pass is called the “Valley of Death”. It is opened for tourists from May 1st to October 31st every year, and only postal staff, traders or other authorized personnel are allowed access from December 1st to April 30th.
The China-Pakistan border is 3km away from the checkpoint, and is connected by the No. 314 national road which is called the friendship road of China and Pakistan. The Khunierab Pass is used by around 300,000 people annually.
Although it was good day, a group of visiting reporters still felt chilled by a gust of cold wind after getting off the bus. The oxygen content can only reach 48% of the usual level in the plains.
A watch house of the People’s Liberation Army is located near the pass.
The pass is also installed with solar battery and Internet. A military official surnamed Bai told the reporters that all soldiers would have two days' vocation every week, although they are not allowed to get off the mountains. “They could use the Internet or chat with border staff of Pakistan. And sergeant-level officer can get leave to go home once a year.”
The reporter met two Pakistan solders at the border monument. They could understand only a little English. Knowing the reporters were from China, they said in broken English “Chinese are our best friends.”
The checkpoint Photo: sino-us.com by Wu Jie
Liberation army official surnamed Bai Photo: sino-us.com by Wu Jie
The snow mountains and dogs raised by the Chinese army there Photo: sino-us.com by Wu Jie