Nepal and China's 'Elevated' Strategic Partnership
Nepal Pushes For Belt and Road Inclusion
During his visit, Dahal met with the top three leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC), including President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Zhao Leji.
The joint statement released after the meeting between the two countries reflects that Dahal’s visit aimed to enhance mutual understanding and trust. The two countries reiterated their commitment to respect and accommodate each other’s concerns and core interests.
Beijing is insecure about foreign ‘intervention’ in Tibet or Taiwan and sought Nepal’s reiteration of the one China policy in starker terms and commitment that it would not allow any “separatist activities against China” on Nepal’s soil.
To address such concerns, the two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation between the domestic security agencies of the countries. China is also keen to sign an extradition treaty with Nepal.
Moreover, the visit allowed the two countries to evaluate the implementation status of agreements signed previously, including Nepal's signing of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreement in 2017.
The joint statement is full of words such as “accelerate” (four times), “expedite” (three times), “as soon/early as possible” (five times), “early date” (six times), and “early/earliest” (three times), which indicates the urgency of the BRI projects. No projects under BRI have been started in Nepal yet, despite Nepal’s eagerness to be a part of the BRI.
Nepal seeks Chinese support to build connectivity and ports. Recently, Lizi-Nechung port was opened, and Zhangmu-Khasa point opened for passenger service. Even to achieve some semblance of balance in trade, Nepal needs to seek Chinese help. That summarizes the Nepal-China relations.
The joint statement reflects the level of Beijing’s frustration over Nepal’s poor implementation of agreements and provides a push to implement without further ado.