– Aananda Pokharel
Nepal and China are historically true friends from the ancient times. Nepal china relation should be defined from two perspectives,one from people to people connectivity which began during the 5th century from the time of Balabhadra. Chinese monk Xuanzang and Phahiyan has been the evidence for Lumbini being the Birth Place of Gautam Buddha.There is a another mythological story that Chinese monk Manjushree came to Kathmandu and cut the gorge of Chobhar to drain out the water of Kathmandu valley and turned it into habitable land.Nepal and china has been celebrating the harmonious diplomatic relation from its inception.Nepal and Tibet had shared very fructifying trade relations in the past too.Though Nepal has shared border with china in northern Himalayan region, there is no any borders issues. There is a very cordial and smooth relation between both the nations.
Significance of Nepal China relationship.
Nepal is a landlocked country from the time immemorial. and therefore faced the blockade time and again. Nepal is bordered by India from east west and south direction and by china from the northern side.We have become very much dependent upon India for trade purposes and to meet our day to day necessities because of which we have been victimized by one sided monopoly and imposed blockade whenever the relation with the south block sours.The blockade of 2072 has compelled us to sign a trade and transit treaty with our northern neighbouring nation. We have signed recently in the seven point agreement with china that has provided access to the four sea harbours of china without any constraints and the direct approach to dry port as well. There has been agreement to supply petroleum products through pipelines and build the transmission lines which is the historic achievement on behalf of Nepal. This will further strengthen and solidify the trust in the relation between two nations. Nepal has also supported the One china Policy and has committed no any foreign to carry out any activity against china in our soil. Nepal has developed the relation with china firmly adopting the Non alignment foreign policy because of which the belief that it will assist in economic, social, physical infrastructural and cultural development of Nepal has deepened.
While discussing about Nepal china relation, the opportunity for the visit of Chinese president has been created after 23 years which proves that china has given meaningful preference towards Nepal. Both the nations celebrate very hearty and cordial relation and china has treated Nepal as a trustworthy friend. China has given great importance to Nepal from the point of Geo politics too. There is quite resemblance of culture and tradition between the people of northern Himalayan district and the people of Tibet. Even marriage rituals has been carried. We have been sharing grass field, rivers, water falls, culture mountains and snows. Two nations have a very organised, intimate, highly respectful and trustworthy relation.
Visionary steps to take Nepal china relation to new heights
Chinese president has put forward the policy of neighbours first to build the strong relationship with the neighbouring countries. As a result many countries will be connected with Great China with belt and road initiative launched in 2013 which is a trade route. It will not only boost the physical development but also integrate physical and economic development thereby extend the relation worldwide. In today’s global world,trade is the strong bond which will connect the world with prosperity and togetherness. China has launched the concept to share the fruit of prosperity with the entire human society. With the same motive the BRI has been officially welcomed in Nepal. China is the largest donor of Nepal’s development and committed to contribute in overall development of Nepal.
BRI and Nepal s prosperity equation
BRI has become the issue of discussion and limelight worldwide in context of building worldwide relationship. This is an idea to make the world a global home. it has been two years since Nepal signed in the BRI on 2017. Countries like Srilanka Maldives Bangaladesh has benefitted a lot by participating in this ambitious project.
But Nepal has been unable start the work fixing its priorities. President Bidhya Bhandari had visited china to participate in the meeting of Second council of BRI. 35 points BRI has been announced after the meeting. In its 23rd point it has been mentioned that himalayan railway connectivity is being created.In 7th connectivity along with south Asia Rasuwa Kathmandu-Pokhara Lumbini route will be developed which will make Nepal the gate way of development of South Asia. people of both nation should be able to freely move to both the nations which is the desire of Nepali people. Pm Oli has penned this desire in his election manifesto and repeatedly requested the Chinese authorities.China has theoretically addressed the BRI from its second council meeting. It will be historic if developed in the form of seven corridors. Nepalese airlines will get access to different airports of china like Beijing, Kunming, Gonjawa and chhendu. works of Nepal china tourism promotion and relation of trade to trade and people to people has also been initiated.
Regarding physical infrastructure, there has been proposal of making the road of Kathmandu – Tatopani and Khasa of four lane, Rasuwa- kerung gorge road four lane and constructing Tokha chhahare tunnel. Many more plans of constructing economic corridor and dry ports have been surfaced and china has been assisting largely in different development projects which will accelerate the economic development.
We have to deal the issue relatively. While talking about BRI the whole world is eyeing Nepal. Nepal has to take independent steps focusing its sovereignty, independence, national interest and self pride. As Nepal is in favor of BRI, Nepal should be tactful in using it in materializing the dream of prosperity of the people of Nepal.
Relationship between two nations is mutually very strong. we have signed in seven point agreement. The plan of upgrading the life standard of Himalayan region of 15 districts connected with Tibet has been mentioned in its 4th point. While there is prosperity in northern border ,there is poverty insecurity and backwardness in its south. It is high time for us to exploit infinite source of hydro power, herbs and potential of Himalayan agriculture. People of this region has expected substantial support from china and the president’s will help to transform the hope of uplifting the lifestyle of the people into reality.
Nepal should give equal importance relations between China and India. Nepal is the member of UNO and the staunch follower of nations of non alignment policy. Being the birth place of Buddha, we have to move forward with the ideals of Buddha and the principles of balanced foreign policy. There has been never any debates on any issues like sovereignty, independence , border , social economic and political grounds.
Role of Nepal china Himalayan friendship society
Nepal china Himalayan friendship society was established in 2009 with the purpose of develop Nepal china relations in order to contribute in the upliftment of the life standards of the people of Himalayan districts. It has been working keeping in centre the goal of upgrading the life of people of the region from a decade. in the main document of the society, we have approved the one china policy put forward by the government and prohibition on the use of Nepali soil in any activity against china. Keeping in mind all these norms and values, we have created the working committee including the members from 15 districts. society has built public building in lamabagar of Dolakha, Manag and Jumla. it has also constructed school in Sindhupalchok and health post in Rasuwa. Further it has distributed ambulance in Lamjung, Dolakha, Kabhrepalanchok, Sindhupalchok and shankhuwashava. it has been organizing special workshop and meeting on accounts of the need between two nations. the society is working sincerely in realizing the needs of the people of Himalayan districts to Chinese government so as to draw attentions to help in the fields of health, education and drinking water. The project of establishing hospital in Manang is being implemented in the initiation of the society. it is working tirelessly by making the six point agreement in making a difference in the life of those people.
The foreign department of Yunan University in China had recently organized a program named 5th Himalayan forum where we urged to open 12 fronts. Even if it is not possible to open all 12 fronts from tinker to Olanchunggola, the fronts proposed by Nepal government can be opened firstly.We have working to simplify the toughness of the Himalayan life.
President Xi visit: Turning point
President Xi’s visit can be the turning point in the development and overall prosperity of Nepal.We must utilize this visit of president xi to grasp the assistance to break our dependency upon south and connect ourselves to entire world
It should further contribute to make the two way relation harmonious and cordial from the people to people level. The world is community as quoted by president Xi. The selfless purpose of working in human welfare and development of china will obviously contribute in the economic development and prosperity of Nepal.
About writer: Mr Ananda Prasad Pokharel is the former Tourism Minister and the patron of Nepal-China Himalayan friendship society and has been actively working in strengthening Nepal china relations founding the society from more than a decade.