15Dec16: A Beijing media has urged both India and China to respect Nepal’s “balance policy” instead of forcing the fragile republic to choose one of the two “rising powers” of Asia. China and India must not seek to elbow each other out of Nepal because the Himalayan nation has enough room for both “big brothers” to participate in Nepal’s development, it suggested.
The state-run newspaper, Global Times, said yesterday that the northern and southern neighbours have their own distinct “advantages” when it came to their relationship with the tiny Himalayan republic.
Those respective advantages are not “replaceable”, an opinion piece published Thursday noted.
“While India might take time to warm up to the idea (the idea of a “trilateral cooperation between India, Nepal and China”), it is important for the three states to realize that, as far as Nepal is concerned, India and China have their own advantages and are not replaceable. China and India, as two big brothers, should respect Nepal’s “balance policy” and support national development – it is unnecessary to force Nepal to take sides,” Global Times reiterated.
The relationship between Nepal and India is characterised by an open border and cross-country people-to-people relationship. The Chinese government, on the other hand, can help Nepal through its “matchless investment potential and expertise in the field of infrastructure development”, Times further added.
The article referred to Indian president Pranab Mukherjee’s recent visit to Kathmandu during which he asked Nepal to be part of “India’s growth story” which was basically an invitation to take advantage of the subcontinent’s giant market economy. Chinese President Xi Jinping also told former Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli (during his state visit to China in March) that his country and Nepal could become a “community of common destiny.