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Nepal and China to announce height of Everest on Tuesday

Nepal and China to announce height of Everest on Tuesday

China and Nepal have jointly announced a new height for Mount Everest, ending a discrepancy between the two nations.

Tuesday's announcement came after Kathmandu and Beijing sent an expedition of surveyors to the summit to calculate Everest's precise height above sea level.

The mountain's height has been the subject of furious debate ever since 1856 when a British team first calculated it as being 29,002 feet.

The world's tallest peak has got the new, unified official height from the two nations it straddles.

It is to be noted that in 1955, height of Mount Everest was established by Indian survey at 8848m while new estimates by China, Nepal increase it by 0.86m.

Speaking at the announcement program, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal said the announcement was "a special moment for us all".

Two years later, the Nepali government for the first time kicked off its own long and arduous mission of re-measuring the height.

Nepal and China to announce height of Everest on Tuesday

In Tibetan, Mount Everest is known as Mount Qomolangma.

In 1999 the US National Geographic Society concluded the world's highest point was higher at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet). A Chinese team in 2005 said it was 8,844.43 meters (29,009 feet) because it did not include the snow cap.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, honorary member of International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, said the height disparity between China and Nepal had been causing problems to climbers.

"The Chinese side has also agreed to announce the height of the Everest jointly", the ministry official said. More than 9,000 people died in the 7.8 magnitude quake, including at least 18 climbers killed when avalanches tore through Everest base camp.

Nepal had sent a team of surveyors to the top of the peak in May 2019, while China sent a team earlier this year.

In the past century and half, the height measurement has changed as more accurate survey techniques became available.

"I express my honest congratulations to the people and officials of both Nepal and China [and] to the survey officials whose hard work and diligence accomplished this important task", Bhandari said in her congratulatory message to President Xi.