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Resistance to China, India Plus Cooperation model in Nepal

Published Jan 25, 2020
Updated Feb 29, 2020

Political parties in Nepal are divided over the concept of ‘China India Plus Cooperation’ pushed forward by China fearing Nepal’s interests will be undermined in the trap of a Zero Sum Game between the two larger neighbours and geopolitical rivals.
Former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal who is head of the foreign policy cell of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has said that Nepal should not agree on ‘China-India Plus’ cooperation model to South Asia pushed forward by the neighboring countries as per Republica

“Nepal should not remain merely as an observer when the two big neighboring countries forge some deals. We should not accept such deals either. I believe that this will not serve our national interests,” he said.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi has backed the ‘China, India Plus Cooperation’ model which is aimed at creating a win-win situation between China, Nepal and India by enhancing trilateral cooperation in areas like infrastructure development and telecommunications.

“Being the world’s largest developing countries, China and India want to play active role in regional and international levels. We want to join hands especially to promote the economy of South Asian countries,” she said adding that the ‘China, India Plus Cooperation’ model has already started in Afghanistan.

“China, India Plus cooperation means trilateral cooperation. It does not mean that China and India will be driving force and another country will have a lesser role. All three will have equal role,” she said.

According to statistics provided by the ambassador, China’s investment flow in Nepal in Fiscal Year 2018-19 was 114 million US dollars, making it the largest investor in Nepal for four consecutive fiscal years. “In the first 10 months of 2019, the trade volume between China and Nepal reached 1.2 billion US dollars, an increase of 36.1% year-on-year, of which Nepal’s export to China increased by 58.1%,” she said as per the Republica.

Meanwhile India is continuously expanding linkages with Nepal. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, along with Prime Minister of Nepal Shri K.P. Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated the second Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Jogbani – Biratnagar on 21 January.

Jogbani – Biratnagar is an important trade point between the two countries. The ICP is equipped with modern facilities.
The second Integrated Check Post at Jogbani – Biratnagar was built with Indian assistance to facilitate trade and people’s movement across India-Nepal border.

Both the Prime Ministers were participating through Video Conference.