China: No change in Qomolangma's stated height

Updated 2018-02-11 10:46:05

China has never changed its stand on the measured height of Qomolangma, known as Mount Everest in the West, National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geo information said Saturday.

In response to a New York Times report in early Feb, the administration said that China maintains that the world's highest mountain measures 8,844.43 meters.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, the former head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, said China recently backed down on its height claim and decided to recognize Nepali measurement of 8,848 meters, New York Times reported on Feb 3.

However the administration said: "The height (of 8,844.43 meters) was made public (in 2005) with authorization from the State Council (China's cabinet) and according to due process inscribed in Surveying and Mapping Law of the People's Republic of China. It has been used until now as a nationally unified standard for the height from the peak's rock base."

The administration is responsible for organizing and publicizing the measurement of the mountain.

China measured the height of the peak in 1975 for the first time, at 8,848.13 meters.

In 2005, Chinese surveyors assessed its summit in 2005, measuring the height both from the peak's rock base (8844.43 meters) and from the top of the snowfall (3.5 meters). The depth of snow and ice on top of the summit is 3.5 meters.

Explaining the discrepancy of 3.7 meters between the 1975 and 2005 figures, the administration cited three reasons.

First, they increased the accuracy of the measurements with the use of more advanced surveillance technique in 2005.

Second, they accurately measured the height of ice cover for the first time. Since the depth of ice cover changes from time to time, they exclude it from the height of the peak and measured the height of rock at 8844.43 meters.

Third, crust movement between 1975 and 2005 caused the change in the height.

China has used the 2005 height as the official standard since it was made public in Oct that year.

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