Nepal has proposed trilateral strategic cooperation and partnership with China and India at a meeting between leaders of the three countries at the sidelines of the ongoing BRICS Summit in Goa on Saturday evening.
The meeting between Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Indian PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping was not scheduled and came as a surprise.
Before forwarding such proposal in the trilateral meeting, Prachanda had held a one-on-one meeting with Xi for 20 minutes, a statement issued by Prachanda’s secretariat on Sunday said.
The statement said Prachanda reminded the Indian and Chinese leaders that he already proposed such a partnership during his first premiership in 2008.
The original proposal was received positively by Beijing but India didn’t react to the idea. But Sunday’s statement said Modi had supported and welcomed the idea. Though the idea of trilateral cooperation is widely discussed in Kathmandu and Beijing, Nepal had not come up with any blue print of such a partnership.
There is a necessity and requirement for trilateral partnership between Nepal, India and China, Prachanda said in the meeting, we are in between India and China and want to emerge as “dynamic bridge” between these two giant Asian neighbours.
“My proposal for trilateral strategic partnership was well received by both Indian and Chinese leaders, Prachanda said.”Both the leaders told me that this is an important proposal.”
Some Maoist leaders have said that India and China can trade through Nepal, which can facilitate rail and road linkages between the two economic giants, and New Delhi and Beijing can work together to harness the hydropower resources of Nepal.
Prachanda told both Modi and Xi that in the ancient times, Nepal used to be the link between India and China – such as by Buddha, Janaki (wife of lord Ram) and Pashupati Nath. “In this modern time too, we once again want to be the bridge between India and China where the relations between these two neighbours can be harmonious and cordial.”
“We have our own indigenous dynamics for development,” said Prachanda adding, “We want balanced, friendly and strategic relations with both India and China.”
In the meeting, according to the statement, PM Modi recalled the historic linkages between Gujarat and Han Suyan, a Chinese philosopher who hailed from Xi’s village and visited Gujarat.
Nepal, India and China share geographical, sentimental and cultural similarities and friendship, Modi said in the meeting, while supporting the idea of trilateral cooperation and partnership.
“India is also positive towards the proposal,” Modi was quoted as saying by the statement.
Nepal can be the bridge between India and China, Xi was quoted as saying by the statement, which added that China responded positively to the proposal.