Nepal and China enjoy very cordial relations since time immemorial. China is Nepal’s close friend, trustworthy neighbour and a reliable development partner. The foundations of Nepal-China relations are rested on the five guiding principles of peaceful co-existence and addressing each other’s basic national interests. Nepal is firm on its ‘One China Policy’ and China supports Nepal’s territorial integrity, political stability and its developmental pursuit.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between Nepal and China and also coincides this month completion of one year of the historic visit of visionary Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Chinese President’s visit to Nepal was considered very significant in the annals of Nepal-China relation as both sides elevated the relations to a “Strategic Partnership” featuring everlasting friendship for development and prosperity. The Chinese President also announced to assist Nepal in becoming a “land-linked” country from a “land-locked” one.
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation under BRI in 2017 between Nepal and China, new vistas of bilateral cooperation have opened. The BRI will undoubtedly give benefit to many countries in the region and eventually, Nepal would also be able to benefit out of the innovation, productivity and advancement of China. Given the prospect for financial integration and policy coordination between the two countries, BRI is an instrument for Nepal to get access to the global value chain.
Among the nine projects under BRI, the Trans-Himalayan Railway project carries much attraction for the Nepalese people because it could be an economic and geopolitical game-changer. A feasibility study for the train link from Kerung via Rasuwa to Kathmandu and onward to Pokhara and Lumbini has been carried out. But not much else has happened mainly because of technical and financial challenges and political uncertainty in Kathmandu. This must be pursued seriously by both sides. Because with the plan to build railways from Raxaul (India) to Kathmandu, this will materialize the dream of making Nepal a vibrant economic bridge between China and India.
Political parties in Nepal and CPC have been enjoying very good relations over the years irrespective of their political ideologies. Our party JSPN is committed to foster party to party relations and deepen Nepal-China relations in the context of changing regional and global dynamics.
Let me conclude by quoting an ancient Chinese proverb which says: When the wind of change blows some people build walls and other build windmills. With the spectacular progress made by China, the wind of BRI has already started blowing: let us build the windmill and benefit out of it.