The near 100-kilometre new road connecting China and Burma was opened yesterday. Known as the Ledo Road , portions of it dates back to World War II.

Officials from the two countries, local ethnic leaders and representative of Kachin Special Region I and II attended the inaugural ceremony of the road held in Karpaiti, Kachin. The road stretches from Tengchone in Yunan province in the extreme south-western region of China, to Warshaung in Kachin state, Burma .

The 96- kilometre asphalt road which cost 200 million Yuan has been under construction since 2004. Road building equipment from Yunan and 6,000 Chinese workers were on the job. By Chinese standards the road is in the grade II category.

A trip along the old Warshaung Road, not negotiable in the rainy season, took eight hours. Along the new road it will take only three hours from Tengchone to Warshaung.

The ceremony was attended by the Chinese delegation led by the vice-governor of Yunan province while the Burmese delegation was headed by the commander of Northern military Command General Ohn Myint.

The road is a part of the 225 miles Ledo Road constructed in 1941 by Western Allies to connect Kuming, China and Ledo in Assam, India for sending supplies to the Chinese as an alternative to the Burma Road which was cut off by the Japanese in 1942. It was renamed Stilwell Road i n early 1945 at the suggestion of Chiang Kai-shek because it was built on the directions of General Stilwell.