Nepal-China Relations: India Anxious as Nepal Drifts Towards China

Are Nepal-China Relations blossoming at the expense of India? Nepal is all set to sign significant bilateral pacts with China, including a deal for energy cooperation and construction of a railway line between Tibet and Kathmandu. These projects under the One Belt One Road (OROB) initiative will consolidate China-Nepal relations. As Nepal hints at inclinations towards Beijing, New Delhi will be apprehensive about the future course of India-Nepal relations. 

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The Prime Minister of Nepal would be on a five-day visit to China starting tomorrow. On top of the agendas to be discussed would be the projects under the One Belt One Road initiative. India has always shown resentment to China’s OROB project. Now seeing Nepal drift towards the OROB initiative by China, India will surely feel the heat. These measures of cooperation between the two nations will deepen China-Nepal relations and might affect India-Nepal relations at the same time.

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Besides several infrastructural projects under the One Belt One Road project, China will also help Nepal’s reconstruction. Nepal was largely impacted by an earthquake and China will help Nepal overcome the plight. So, as China-Nepal relations deepen, India looks anxious and concerned. China has escalated its investments in Nepal in order to build a larger cooperation in energy and infrastructure. It has also been urging the Nepal government to consider the construction of the India-Nepal-China corridor through the Himalayan Ranges.

China’s One Belt One Road project is an aim to revive the traditional silk route. China hence seeks cooperation and connectivity with Asian and European nations by building railways, ports and airports. China has already invested big in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Now with another neighbour being pulled by the OROB project, India’s concerns seem valid. How can India now enhance its influence over South Asia with yet another ally inclining towards China?