China-Nepal Relations

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  • China’s Expanding Footprint in Nepal: Threats to India

    Nepal used to be a safe zone for India. China was least interested in Nepal till 1950s. But strategic design changed once China forcefully occupied Tibet. Nehru tried to strengthen the Indian positioning in Himalayan sphere vis-àvis China. Things became more complicated once China started intruding in Nepal. This article tries to see the emerging Chinese threats from Nepal. Since 1,751 km India-Nepal border runs through 20 districts of five Indian states. The India-Nepal border is open. China has tried through its long strategy to erase Nepalese dependency on India.

    April 2011

    India-China Power Game in Nepal and the Consequences

    The win-win situation for India and China lies in respecting the ‘buffer-status of Nepal’ which will also ensure political stability in Nepal.

    September 16, 2010

    Arnab Dasgupta asked: Are there chances for Bhutan falling into Beijing's bag as was the case of Nepal?

    Medha Bisht replies: History is witness to the fact that Bhutan and India have always shared a robust relationship that encompasses trade and economics as well. Indeed, India is the largest trade partner of Bhutan and has greatly assisted Bhutan in its development goals. Moreover given the geographical context, India is a natural market for Bhutan in its hydal sector. This is important as export of hydro-electricity to India is a primary source of revenue generation. Having said this, I would argue that given this natural proclivity and inter-dependence between Bhutan and India, there are fewer chances for the Chinese having strategic leverage inside Bhutan.

    However one should keep in mind that China and Bhutan share a boundary dispute and border issues have provided Beijing a vital platform to engage Bhutan. India needs to be vigilant over the developments regarding the boundary issue as the North-Western boundary which China wants from Bhutan (particularly the Chumbi Valley) is an area of strategic interest to India.

    PLA Integration into the Nepal Army: Challenges and Prospects

    Integration of Maoist combatants into the Nepal Army (NA) has become a contentious issue. Although the stakeholders have agreed on the integration process, they are yet to arrive at a consensus on how to attempt it. They have changed their positions frequently over the issue, which has complicated matters further. The NA holds the view that the lack of conventional training of Maoist combatants, as well as their ideological orientation, would have a serious effect on its professional standards.

    September 2009

    China’s Inroads into Nepal: India’s Concerns

    The political crisis that triggered off in Nepal with Prime Minster Prachanda’s resignation yet again indicates not only the trials and tribulations of a fledgling democratic process but also points to the geopolitical vulnerability of the country sandwiched as it is between the two Asian giants. While India considers Nepal a part of its sphere of influence, it is increasingly being challenged by China’s inroads into Nepal. In fact, the growing Nepal-China nexus should be seen in the context of India-China power competition in Asia.

    May 18, 2009

    Nepal: New ‘Strategic Partner’ of China?

    There has been a major shift in China’s foreign policy towards Nepal since the Maoist ascendance to power. China had earlier adopted a policy of ‘non-intervention’ in the internal matters of Nepal and largely stayed out of Nepalese internal politics. However, the demise of the monarchy and the ascendance of political parties have forced China to reshape its Nepal policy. Moreover, frequent protests by Tibetans in recent months alerted the Chinese to the possibility of the China-Tibet border being misused.

    March 30, 2009

    China and Maoist Nepal: Challenges for India

    “[China] feels that the Himalayas alone in this nuclear age are not enough to guarantee its national security, especially in view of Tibet’s strategic location. [It], therefore, ideally wants a China of small, preferably pro-Chinese, neighbours on the cis-Himalayan region separating the two Asian giants.”

    - Dawa Norbu

    May 23, 2008

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