China reaping harvest of Nepal’s “chauvinistic and nationalistic rhetoric” by encroaching land in Humla « Khabarhub
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China reaping harvest of Nepal’s “chauvinistic and nationalistic rhetoric” by encroaching land in Humla

Suggest parties to make common position on foreign policy

24 September 2021  

Time taken to read : 10 Minute

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KATHMANDU: China has been reaping a sizeable harvest of political parties’ “nationalism rhetoric” and positive perceptions about China, experts and analysts have said.

They say Nepal has failed to resolve the border issue with the northern neighbor for the political parties’ different approaches about India and China.

Nepal has failed to make a clear position on foreign policy issues, they said, particularly when it comes to China and India.

Taking part in “Khabarhub Debate” organized by Khabarhub at the Pavilion Hall in Kathmandu Friday, the participants including experts on the border issues were unanimous to claim that Nepal would suffer if it failed to claim back encroached upon territory since evidence has already proved that China has encroached upon Nepal’s land in Humla.

“As I already said earlier, there had been a border dispute since 2021 BS between the two countries. Now that, since the issue has been widely debated, we cannot compromise on our sovereignty,” said Nepali Congress lawmaker Rangamati Shahi. She represents Humla district.

Lawmaker Shahi said since both the sides had earlier agreed to demarcate the border as per the location of the watershed, the Chinese side violated the understanding and, instead, constructed structures in Lolungbhajung.

What is even more ridiculous is that when the locals asked them why China constructed structures on Nepali land, they said that the construction were done for the convenience of the Nepali people to quarantine their cattle, according to her.

It should be recalled that China has four years back stated that the land where the structures have been constructed belonged to Nepal.

She lambasted the then government led by KP Oli for issuing a “hurried statement under the pressure of Chinese Embassy” dismissing reports of border issues with China.

Analyst Achyut Wagle emphasized regulating the border issue with China and India on the basis of diplomatic talks.

Besides border encroachment by China, Nepal has been incurring trade deficit in the ratio of 1:30 with China due to its undeclared blockade. “The question is: what would have happened in Nepal if India, too, imposed an undeclared blockade?” he asked, referring to what he said was competition to show oneself more nationalist by being vocal about the anti-Indian narratives in Nepal.

Wagle said as many as 2400 containers carrying essentials goods to Nepal from China are stuck on the other side of the border. “Therefore, I suggest that Nepal’s relations with China have to be redefined on the basis of uniformity, not political bias.”

Professor Uddhab Pyakurel, also a border expert, too, dubbed Nepal’s “nationalistic narrative” in favor of China is creating problems. “It’s already loud and clear that Nepal’s land has been encroached upon by China,” he said suggesting a “border monitoring mechanism” every 10 years.

“We should not merely analyze on the basis of parties’ psychology and mentality,” Pyakurel said, adding that the study team formed by the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government should come up with a clear and unbiased report.

For foreign affairs expert, Arun Kumar Subedi, the issue has cropped up due to lack of GPS coordinates along the border with China.

Nepal’s agreeing with China on border issues has led to complexities, and that China has been showing a monopolistic and arbitrary attitude toward Nepal.

“The problem is that there has been a nationalist narrative in Nepal that is in favor of China,” Subedi added, warning that Nepal could lose several strategic points along the border with China if Nepal did not speak up.”

Former Ambassador Vijay Kant Karna made it a point to say that we do not discuss any issues and problems with China. “We have failed to mobilize a joint monitoring team to study the condition of the border pillars,” Karna said.

Former Ambassador Bijaya Kant Karn

He also asked the government not to be scared of China and give up the “nationalistic narrative” when it comes to favoring China, and suggested that the locals, too, have to be involved in the study team.

Political analyst Devesh Jha said, “balanced relations” between China and India is just a narrative among Nepal’s political parties, and what he said was some “true nationalists”.

He outright said that it is all because of the “One-China Policy” that China has been hell-bent on troubling Nepal. “The border encroachment is one of them,” he said, adding that the pro-Chinese narrative has been engraved on their minds of being nationalists.

Expert on Madesh issue, Ganesh Mandal, said more than 45 border pillars have gone to the Chinese side in all these years. He criticized the then Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali for issuing a statement in haste refuting reports that China had encroached upon Nepal’s land in Humla.

Expert on Madhesi Issue Ganesh Kumar Mandal

“Under whose pressure and instruction did he issue the statement?” he asked, lambasting the Nepal Government for keeping quiet in the face of Chinese encroachment.

Analyst Pankaj Das said it would be wrong on the part of Nepal to say that the border dispute with China is only in Humla. “If China has encroached upon Nepal’s land in several areas, why did the government form a team to study the situation only in Humla, and why not in other areas?” he raised his concern.

Analyst Pankaj Das

Yuga Nath Sharma Poudel criticized China for trying to claim that even a large section of the Mt Everest belonged to China. “Mt Everest belongs to Nepal, not China,” he said, adding that the government should form a monitoring team to study the border encroachment in other parts of the country, including in Sankhuwasabha.

Analyst Yug Sharma Paudel

It should be noted that China constructed 11 houses on Nepal’s land during the lockdown period last year.

A team of 11 individuals, including Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, central member of Nepali Congress (NC) and leader of the parliamentary party of Karnali Pradesh, made an on-the-spot study of the encroached land for 11 days. During the visit, it was found that Pillar number 12 was newly constructed.

Pavilion Media Group Chairman Naresh Shreshtha (R) and lawmaker Rangamati Shahi

It should also be noted that the two countries had prepared a digital boundary map in 2005/06 which, however, could not be signed due to a dispute over the height of Mt Everest and a missing pillar in Rasuwa.

Also Read,

Nepal-China border dispute: Study team reaches Humla

Will Deuba government bring back Nepal’s territory encroached by China?

Government forms committee to study border dispute with China

CM Shahi, NC leader Shahi inspect China-encroached territory in Humla

China ramps up intimidation of border findings, sends letter undiplomatically (With full text)

China, Nepali Congress ramp up war of words on border encroachment

I feel threatened for my findings that China encroached land in Humla: NC leader Shahi

Furnish evidence to prove your claim that Nepali land has not been encroached: NC leader Shahi to China

China has encroached Nepal’s land in Humla: Field Report

Evidence shows China has encroached Nepal’s territory in Humla: Lawmaker Shahi

What I saw during my 11-day field visit to Humla

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