‘Tricking’ China will stall Nepal’s development: Chinese media
Nepal will lose out by putting its relations with China on the backburner and returning to India’s fold of influence, the Chinese state media has warned, adding that “tricking” Beijing will stall Kathmandu’s development.world Updated: Sep 20, 2016 23:22 IST
Nepal will lose out by putting its relations with China on the backburner and returning to India’s fold of influence, the Chinese state media has warned, adding that “tricking” Beijing will stall Kathmandu’s development.
The recent visit of Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” to India was closely followed by the Chinese state media, which clearly looked for signs that New Delhi-Kathmandu ties were on the mend following a period of chill.
Signs of a turnaround in the were easily detectable during Prachand’a visit and meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, according to two separate opinion pieces in the nationalistic tabloid Global Times. And this means Beijing is no longer a foreign policy priority for Kathmandu, the articles said.
The apparent postponement of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal in October hasn’t really helped stop the speculation.
“When Prachanda received Modi's invitation and kick-started a turning point in bilateral ties with India, concerns and warnings made by Nepal's former prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli over the possibility that agreements signed between Kathmandu and Beijing might not be carried out in a timely manner began to widely spread. Prachanda had no other options except sending an envoy to China to explain,” wrote Xu Liang, executive director of the Indian Studies Center from Beijing International Studies University.
“It seems that the relationship between Nepal and China stalled abruptly, and a visit by Chinese leaders to Nepal has allegedly been suspended - an unprecedented situation,” Xu said.
Xu was scathing in criticising Nepal. “It looks like the bilateral relationship between China and Nepal has suddenly turned fragile and sensitive. Obviously, China feels tricked. When Kathmandu needed Beijing to relieve pressure from New Delhi, it got close to China and signed a series of crucial agreements with Beijing which would help Nepal get rid of its reliance on India,” Xu wrote.
“But once India's attitude toward Kathmandu relaxed a bit and the former made some promises to the latter, Nepalese politicians immediately put the nation's ties with China on the back burner.”
In the second piece, Ai Jun of the Global Times wrote that India was “alarmed” by China’s influence and is now trying to change the situation. China, on the other hand, is only bothered about Nepal’s development and even welcomes India’s involvement.
“Beijing sincerely hopes to help Nepal's development and in the meantime establish the connection linking China to India as well as Bangladesh. Connectivity among China, South Asia and Southeast Asia is a vital part of the Beijing-led One Belt and One Road initiative, which will promote development and create mutual benefits in the whole region, including Nepal and India,” Ai wrote.
“If New Delhi insists to see it as Beijing's attempt to cosy up to Kathmandu, India should at least realise the fact that China's support to Nepal has stimulated India to increase its assistance to Kathmandu, which means that this is nothing but a healthy competition.”
Ai added: “Times have changed, and adhering to the outdated mind-set of scrambling for spheres of influence will not only win no hearts, but also disrupt one's own development Times have changed, and adhering to the outdated mind-set of scrambling for spheres of influence will not only win no hearts, but also disrupt one's own development.”
Prachanda’s predecessor Oli was widely perceived as being closer to China. Prachanda has indicated he will strike a balance in Nepal’s relations with India and China.