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China To Close Border With Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan

ASTANA/BISHKEK -- China says it will close its borders with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan from April 30 to May 2 because of the Chinese Labor Day holiday, RFE/RL's Kazakh and Kyrgyz Services report.

The Kyrgyz Border Guard Forces press service told RFE/RL that two major checkpoints along the Kyrgyz-Chinese border, at Torugart and Erkech-Tam, will reopen on May 3.

The Chinese government gave no reason for the closure of the border. It normally closes its border crossings with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan for the Chinese New Year.

Representatives of the Kazakh Embassy in Beijing told journalists today that May 1 is the usual holiday in China known officially as the International Day of Workers' Solidarity.

May 2 is an additional holiday in 2011 because May 1 falls on a weekend this year.

Most of the trade by Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan with China is by trucks across the borders, rather than by plane or train.

Read more in Kazakh here and in Kyrgyz here