Nepal, China begin joint military exercises

Days after pulling out of the Bimstec joint military exercise in India at the last minute, the Nepal Army on Monday began its second wargame with the Chinese military at Chengdu. The “Sagarmatha Friendship-2” military exercise in China’s Sichuan province will last 10 days.
Nepal's Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 21, 2018.(AFP file)
Nepal's Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 21, 2018.(AFP file)
Updated on Sep 17, 2018 11:19 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu | ByAnil Giri

Days after pulling out of the Bimstec joint military exercise in India at the last minute, the Nepal Army on Monday began its second wargame with the Chinese military at Chengdu.

The “Sagarmatha Friendship-2” military exercise in China’s Sichuan province will last 10 days. Both sides have fielded a platoon for the drill that will focus on counter-terrorism and disaster management.

Amid widespread criticism, Nepal pulled out of the first Bimstec military exercise, which concluded in Pune on Sunday. Observers in New Delhi said Nepal’s decision not to participate amounted to a “diplomatic loss” for India.

Three officials familiar with developments in Kathmandu said Nepal’s absence at the Bimstec military exercise was due to a “procedural failure” on the part of both Nepal and India.

“India’s unilateral decision and announcement about conducting the drill was responsible for Nepal’s cancellation, but it was our procedure lapse too,” one official said.

After Nepal’s said it would not join the exercise in Pune, foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali said the proposal for the joint drill did not come up at any level at the Bimstec Summit in Kathmandu during August 30-31. In view of its close security ties with India, Nepal sent an observer for the drill.

“If India had circulated the proposal through the Dhaka-based Bimstec Secretariat to member states, none of them would have skipped the drill like Nepal and Thailand did,” the official said.

The Nepal Army, which received the proposal from the Indian side, did not consult other stakeholders such as the Prime Minister’s Office, the foreign minister or the cabinet. “On our side it was purely a procedure lapse and a lack of coordination among state agencies,” the official added.

With sections of the media describing the Bimstec drill as an effort to “show up China and isolate Pakistan”, commentators and editorials in Nepal urged the government not to take part in any exercise that could jeopardise Nepal’s ties with other nations and turn Bimstec into a “military bloc”.

“When it became public that the Nepal Army had not consulted even the defence ministry prior to the Bimstec Summit, it caused embarrassment for us. If the army had consulted others before the controversy erupted in Kathmandu, the matter could have been discussed at the top political level and sorted out in time,” a second official said.

The third official said the Indian media’s coverage of the Bimstec exercise did not go down well in Kathmandu. “At a time when Saarc is not moving, comments in the Indian media on the Bimstec military drill triggered a controversy, especially since Nepal is the chair of both regional organizations,” the official said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • An ambulance and armed police are seen during the evacuation of people at the Fields shopping center in Copenhagen, Denmark, on July 3, 2022 after Danish media reported a shooting. (Photo by Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP)

    Several dead after shooting at shopping mall in Copenhagen; one arrested

    The Royal House said on its website late on Sunday that an event in southern Denmark to commemorate the end of the first three stages of the Tour de France cycling race, hosted by the Danish Crown Prince and with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in attendance, had been cancelled.

  • People rally in support of abortion rights Saturday, July 2, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Texas clinics halt abortions after state high court ruling

    The Friday night ruling stopped a three-day-old order by a Houston judge who said clinics could resume abortions up to six weeks into pregnancy. The following day, the American Civil Liberties Union said it doubted that any abortions were now being provided in a state of nearly 30 million people.

  • Other places from which Google will not store location data include fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, and weight loss clinics.

    Google to delete user location history on US abortion clinic visits

    "If our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit," Jen Fitzpatrick, a senior vice president at Google, wrote in a blog post. "This change will take effect in the coming weeks."

  • Professor Ajay Agrawal, who was honoured with the Order of Canada in the 2022 list. (Credit: University of Toronto)

    Two Indo-Canadian academics honoured with Order of Canada

    Two Indo-Canadian academics, working on research to advance the betterment of mankind, have been honoured with one of the country's most prestigious awards, the Order of Canada. Their names were in the list published by the office of the governor-general of Canada Mary Simon. Both have been invested (as the bestowal of the awards is described) into the Order as a Member. They are professors Ajay Agrawal and Parminder Raina.

  • SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk.

    Elon Musk's Twitter hiatus, in 2nd week now,  generates curiosity 

    The world's richest person, Elon Musk, has not tweeted in about 10 days and it can't go unnoticed. The 51-year-old business tycoon has 100 million followers on the microblogging site, which he is planning to buy. Since April, he has been making headlines for the $44 billion deal and his comments and concerns about the presence of a large number of fake accounts on Twitter.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, July 04, 2022