Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Nepal was the first by the PRC president in over two decades. China, in an indirect warning to India, stated that Beijing is willing to provide net security to Nepal and guarantee its sovereignty. This is the first such occasion when China has publicly made an assurance to protect another nation’s sovereignty.
Xi in Kathmandu said: “China will always support Nepal in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
This message by China can be seen as another attempt by Beijing replace India as the net security provider of Nepal and reducing the overwhelming Indian influence.
Despite growing ties with China and all the financial support that Beijing has assured, the Nepalese security establishment, that has maintained closer links with Indian Army for decades may not trust the communist government which has a terrible human rights record, especially in Tibet.
India and Nepal started their relationship with the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship that defined security relations between the two countries, and an agreement governing both bilateral trade and trade transiting Indian territory.
The 1950 treaty and letters exchanged between the Indian government and Rana rulers of Nepal, stated that “neither government shall tolerate any threat to the security of the other by a foreign aggressor” and obligated both sides “to inform each other of any serious friction or misunderstanding with any neighbouring state likely to cause any breach in the friendly relations subsisting between the two governments.”
These accords cemented a “special relationship” between India and Nepal. The treaty also granted Nepalese, the same economic and educational opportunities as Indian citizens in India, while accounting for preferential treatment to Indian citizens and businesses compared to other nationalities in Nepal