Caution is the Key

Nihar R Nayak is Research Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • September 2013

    Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, made the trilateral proposal during his official visit to India in April 2013. This was the third time since 2010 that Prachanda had raised this issue. This concept seems to be a modified version of his earlier ‘equidistance policy’, which was declared after he became prime minister in September 2008. He proposed trilateral cooperation for the first time in October 2010 after visiting Beijing. He reiterated it after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APECF) for development of Lumbini in November 2012 in Shanghai. He again proposed the same during his April 2013 visits to both Beijing and New Delhi. The fact of the matter is that he has reiterated this proposal each time he has returned from a visit to China. This time, in fact, he also discussed the issue directly with the Chinese president Xi Jinping. In response, Jinping first suggested working on bilateral projects: ‘We [Nepal and China] can discuss later what projects can be implemented jointly by China, Nepal and India’.