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Chinese embassy issues statement as voices against China rise in Nepal

Chinese Embassy in Nepal on Thursday said that it considers Nepal as an important partner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and does not attach any political conditions to its aid to Nepal. This comes after protests erupted against the country’s growing influence in the Himalayan nation. 

Demonstrators carried placards with slogans such as “Down with China government”, “stop Chinese intervention”, “stop border encroachment”, “ensure safe passage to Nepali students studying in China”, among others.

Spokesperson of the embassy Wang Xiaoling issued a statement on recent protests against China’s increasing political, economic and cultural presence in Nepal. 

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“China and Nepal are traditional friendly neighbors. China unswervingly adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, respects Nepal’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and develops bilateral friendly relations on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs,” the spokesperson said in the statement.

The protestors also criticised China for interfering in Nepal’s political as well as economic sectors and encroaching Nepal’s land in different northern districts, including Humla.

In connection to that, Wang Xiaoling said, that the foreign authorities of the two countries maintain good communication on border-related affairs, “it is hoped the Nepali people not be misled by individual false reports”.

“The Chinese Embassy in Nepal has clarified repeatedly that China and Nepal have resolved the boundary issue through friendly consultations as early as the 1960s, and there is no dispute at all,” the statement added. 

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Reacting to the issue of the protest of the blockade imposed on Nepal, Xiaoling said, “The Chinese side opened one-way cargo transportation to Nepal by overcoming great difficulties and has continuously enhanced the ports’ cargo handling capacity, which played an important role in ensuring the supply of anti-pandemic and livelihood materials in Nepal.”

According to reports, China has been creating obstructions in Rasuwagadhi-Kerung and Tatopani border points which is a blatant violation of China’s commitment to bringing them into operation as a major international border under its ambitious BRI.

Even though during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Kathmandu in 2019, it was outlined that Nepal would be transformed from a landlocked to a “land-linked” country.

Of the 20 agreements signed between Nepal and China during Jinping’s visit, it is very difficult to pinpoint what is that Nepal gained. 

China has the upper hand due to the railway and roadway connectivity between the Chinese border and Kathmandu. It will not only prove a very valuable asset to China to make its presence felt in different parts of Nepal but also it will help this country to have access to the Indo-Nepal border through the Nepalese territory. 

On the whole, the agreements made between Nepal and China have been in favour of China – be it insecurity, strategic and other economic affairs. This could be due to the fact that the agreements were made between two ‘unequal’ powers – China being the far stronger power. Nepal could not gain anything tangible in its deals with China.

Source: Thanks