Chinese envoy to Nepal has said his country stands ready to supply fuel should Nepal call for help.
Ambassador Wu Chuntai remarked during a meeting with former Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal that should Nepal make a formal request, the southern neighbour is willing to supply fuel through its distribution centre at Shigatse in Tibet Autonomous Region. He assured Mr Khanal, who is also a senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (UML), that as a true friend China will always be ready to come to Nepal’s aid, no matter how difficult the circumstances may be, Annapurna Post reported today.
The diplomat told the UML leader that it takes merely a day for tankers to arrive at the Nepal-China border (Kerung) from Lhasa, the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
There have been considerable reportage on the possibility of Nepal developing China as an alternative to Indian Oil Corporation but the government has not shown much interest in the subject, Nepalese people complain. Few weeks ago, Nepal’s ambassador to China had also expressed similar dilemma, that China was ready to supply fuel but his political bosses remained ambiguous about the issue.
Given the continued ‘informal blockade’ by India, the Chinese ambassador has once again articulated his nation’s willingness to help. “Nepal’s foreign ministry must formally write to the Chinese government,” Mr Chuntai was quoted by a source who was privy to the discussion between the diplomat and the former prime minister.
In the mean time, it appears the informal blockade by India will continue until Nepal has amended its new constitution. Media reports published from Kathmandu suggest that in their meetings with the visiting Nepalese foreign minister Kamal Thapa, neither Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi could spell out as to when the blockade would end.