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Nepal and China say Everest is 86 centimeters taller than before

Kathmandu / Beijing, Dec 8 (EFE) .- China and Nepal, the two countries that share the highest mountain in the world, today jointly set the height of Everest at 8,848.86 meters, only 86 centimeters above the traditionally accepted of 8,848 meters, carried out by India in 1955. This is the first time that Nepal has measured the height of the mountain. Not so China, which did it for the last time in 2005 setting it at 8,844.43 meters, arguing that the Indian measurement included the more than three meters of snow on the summit and that it was necessary to measure up to the rock. Kathmandu, which accepted the measurement of India, rejected that of China these years, until the improvement in relations between the two countries and the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal in October 2019 ended up closing the differences. NEW MEASUREMENTS WITH SATELLITE AND RADAR SYSTEMS During Xi’s trip, the two neighbors decided to undertake a joint measurement, for which a Chinese team of scientists climbed to the summit of Everest last May, with the pandemic hitting the world, and the 27 of that month he crowned it. Chinese scientists used the latest Global Navigation Satellite (GNSS) technology from their Beidou system, as well as radars and other technical advances to calculate the height from the top, according to official media. Nepal, for its part, had already started taking its measurements using navigation systems in 2017 and completed them two years later. By the final result, with 86 centimeters of difference on the commonly accepted one, China seems to have given good part of the reason to the Nepalese and the Indian measurement. “The height of Mount Everest is 8,848.86 meters,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi from Beijing and his Nepalese colleague Pradeep Kumar Gyawali from Kathmandu jointly announced in a virtual event broadcast over the internet. It is the first time that both countries agree on the height of the world’s summit that they share: the Sagarmatha (front of the sky) for Nepalese and the Qomolanga or Chomolungma (mother of the universe) for Tibetans. The roof of the world known as Everest around the globe since in 1857 Andrew Waugh, British general surveyor of India, proposed to name “Peak XV” in honor of his predecessor in office, George Everest. The British first measured it in 1849, when it was not yet known that it was the highest mountain in the world, using trigonometric calculations. Chinese scientists have recognized in the past that the controversy over altitude between the two neighboring countries was basically a competition for the mountains. For the joint measurement, both teams also took different sea level references: China the Yellow Sea and Nepal using a point near the Bay of Bengal. CHINA’S APPROACH TO NEPAL Be that as it may, they have finally reached an agreement that reinforces Nepal’s growing rapprochement with China, to the detriment of India, its traditional ally, with whom its border and trade disputes have worsened in recent months. . With this joint announcement the friendship between the two countries will reach “new heights”, highlighted the two foreign officials who participated in the announcement. “For Nepal, this is a special time for everyone. Mount Sagarmatha, Qomolangma, has stood as an eternal symbol of good relationship and continued friendship between Nepal and China,” Minister Gyawali said. “We have deep admiration for our Nepalese colleagues, we have learned from each other,” said Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang, also present virtually at the event. For his part, Wang Yi read a letter from the Chinese president to his Nepalese counterpart, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, in which he stressed that Everest “is an important symbol of the long friendship” between the two countries and remarked that the joint announcement “fully demonstrates the strength and continued development of China-Nepal relations. ” Nepal is a key member of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, Beijing’s global investment megaproject, which has invested heavily in infrastructure in recent years in the Nepalese Himalayan region. CONSEQUENCES OF THE 2015 EARTHQUAKE The joint Sino-Nepalese measurement ends the controversy among geologists regarding whether the earthquake of 7.5 degrees on the Richter scale that the region suffered in April 2015 had modified the height of the mountain or even He had moved it horizontally. The earthquake, which caused more than 9,000 deaths – including 19 on Everest – and destroyed half a million buildings, would have also moved the mountains and the geological surface, according to several experts. A 2015 measurement by the National Institute of Cartography of China noted that the earthquake had moved Everest three centimeters to the southwest, but that the mount had not lost height. On the contrary, the study claimed that it reversed the displacement that the Qomolangma had suffered in the last decade, which had moved 40 centimeters to the northwest, in addition to growing three centimeters. The measurement announced today did not pronounce on the horizontal displacement of the mountain or if its height was affected by the earthquake, although it established that the end of the earth closest to the sky now measures 8,848.86 meters. Sangam Prasain and Javier García (c) EFE Agency

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