China’s expansionist agenda is not only visible on the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) but also at the Nepal-China border. In a document by Nepal’s agriculture department, massive road development projects in the Tibet Autonomous Region have led to rivers changing their course and expanding China’s boundary into northern territories of Nepal.
It warned that there is “a high possibility that over the period of time, China may develop its Border Observation Post of Armed Police in those territories”.
As reported earlier by Eurasian Times, soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Indian Army were engaged in a fearsome clash in Galwan Valley which led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and unconfirmed casualties on the Chinese side.
China had previously admitted they had casualties but did not reveal the numbers. During the military talks between the officers of the Indian Army and the PLA, it was confirmed by the Chinese side that one of their Commanding Officer had died.
Nepal’s agriculture department document said that patches of Nepalese territory in several districts had already been encroached by China and warned that Beijing could take over more territory in the north if the rivers continue to change course.
The loss of Nepalese territory due to the rivers changing course could run into “hundreds of hectare land”, it said. “If the receding of land by the river continues, then hundreds of hectare naturally go towards Tibet Autonomous Region. There is a high possibility that over a period of time, China may develop Border Observation Posts of its armed police in those territories,” stated the document.
Nepal and China share about 1,414 kilometres long along the Himalayas. The survey department of Nepal has estimated that the changing course of 11 rivers had already cost Nepal 36 hectare, or 0.36 sq km, across four of its districts; Humla, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk and Sankhuwasabha.
This encroachment by China was first reported last year which led to several protests in Nepal. KP Sharma Oli, the Prime Minister of Nepal is accused of downplaying the encroachment to avoid deterring its ties with China.
Indian Army Chief General, M.M. Naravane, indicated that Nepal’s objection to India’s newly-inaugurated road via the Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand is likely at the behest of China. Analysts believe that Oli channelled the public outrage against China towards India by altering the map and including Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh as part of its territory.
As reported by various media houses, a diplomat in New Delhi said PM Oli did not inform Parliament before it voted on the map earlier this month that he had ignored an offer of dialogue between the foreign secretaries of the two countries. Instead, he gave parliamentarians the impression that his government was forced to push the envelope since New Delhi had declined his offer for dialogue.