Nepal may serve as an integral part of the trilateral relationship between Nepal, China and India. Presently, there is no significant development on Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Nepal, but if India and China join hands, it will not only benefit Nepal, but it will boost the economy of entire South Asian region.
The relations between all the three countries have both the cooperation as well as competition. The two countries i.e. India and China have developed better relations in a short span of time. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang talked about the China-India real cooperation which has entered into a phase of development where stability exists between the two countries and it also imparts peace and positiveness in the World.
India-China were affected due to border tensions in mid-June, last year. The two countries were at loggerheads in the Doklam trijunction but eventually eased the tension with Hand-in-Hand exercise in Chengdu province of western China.
Indian External Affair Minister – Sushma Swaraj called improved relations as the sign of global peace and stability. Similarly, the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi also appreciated the two countries friendliness. The two countries are working on the “China-India Plus” model to promote joint projects and collaborations.
India has refused to join the BRI as it hampers its sovereignty as the project passes through the disputed territory of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an integral part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. Still, India has shown active participation in Chinese projects implemented by the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Indian PM has been aggressively working towards strong economic relations between India and China. At the same time, he also doesn’t want political and territorial conflicts to affect the gradually developing cultural and economic relations.
India has kept itself neutral over the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Strategy that attacks Chinese expansion. The US is trying hard to collaborate with the three nations i.e. India, Japan, Australia, but New Delhi has not really appeased Washington. Similarly, Nepal has also declined the US offer. Nepal’s Foreign Minister, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali informed that Nepal cannot be part of any joint agreement that segregates one nation from the other.
Nepal is located in a highly sensitive zone. Last year, Nepal became part of the Belt and Road Initiative to promote trade and logistics with its neighbouring countries. China has helped Nepal to connect with both the sea and dry ports of China. This Chinese initiative has provided Nepal with an opportunity to link with the third country, except India. These developments have further strengthened the trilateral agreement between India-Nepa-China. China and Nepal are meanwhile also working to find better connectivity to boost trade, investment, and cooperation in the region.
Under the BRI project, China wants a corridor that includes all three i.e. India, Nepal and China. All these three countries were part of the ancient silk road whose starting point is in China. The road also passes through the South Asian nations to reach the West. If India leaves behind its apprehensions about China, the entire South Asian region will not benefit, but will also prosper from the trilateral cooperation.
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