Chinese Ambassador Remarks on Nepal-India Relations

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Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, has stirred controversy by seemingly disregarding diplomatic conventions during his recent speech, where he sought to cast Nepal’s relationship with India in a negative light while promoting China as a more suitable partner for the Himalayan nation.

Ambassador Chen delivered his remarks at an event hosted at a hotel in Kathmandu’s New Baneswor, with notable figures in attendance, including Devraj Ghimire, the Speaker of Nepal’s House of Representatives.

During his address, Chen discussed what he termed “India’s influence in Nepal.” While recognizing the vastness of the Indian market, he cautioned Nepal to approach the relationship carefully.

“Regrettably, Nepal shares its borders with India, which undoubtedly boasts a massive market and considerable untapped potential. However, India’s approach to Nepal and its neighboring nations is often less than friendly and not necessarily beneficial to Nepal,” he expressed.

Traditionally, Nepal has enjoyed closer ties with India than with China, rooted in both political and deep-rooted cultural and social connections dating back centuries.

Ambassador Chen appeared to assert that Nepal’s trade with India might not be as advantageous as perceived. He pointed out, “In the last fiscal year, Nepal exported 10 billion Nepalese rupees worth of electricity to India. Yet, you imported 19 billion Nepalese rupees worth of electricity from India. This trade deficit in electricity, a source of national pride, may not lead to the economic independence you aspire to.”

Chen advised Nepal to redirect its focus towards its agricultural sector.

In recent decades, China and India have competed for influence in Nepal. The Himalayan nation, once firmly within India’s sphere of influence, is now seen as taking significant steps to bolster cooperation with China. This power rivalry has often compelled smaller South Asian nations to navigate the competition between these two regional giants.

In his speech, Ambassador Chen advocated for heightened collaboration between China and Nepal and expressed his commitment to strengthening their ties.

“I intend to embark on more field visits to gain a deeper understanding of Nepal’s reality and identify further opportunities for cooperation between China and Nepal. Above all, I believe that the people of Nepal deserve a more prosperous, modern, and enriched life,” he asserted.

 

Source : Wionews