China Courts Nepal: Strategic Implications for India?

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by amitkriit, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,465
    Likes Received:
    1,923
    Location:
    La La Land
    With an Eye to India and Tibet, China Courts Nepal

    [​IMG]
    Nepal's Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal, right, shakes hands with China's General Chen Bingde during a meeting in Kathmandu on March 24, 2011

    It is not every day that the military chief of the world's emerging superpower stops by a tiny Himalayan nation. So when General Chen Bingde, Chief of General Staff of China's People's Liberation Army, touched down in Kathmandu on March 23, all of Nepal was watching. Chen didn't disappoint: he signed a military-aid deal worth $20 million and promised that there was more to come. He also took the chance to comment on Chinese-Nepali relations, saying that ties between the two countries are important to "world peace and the Asia-Pacific region."

    Referencing the Asia-Pacific region on a three-day visit to South Asia might seem odd — but it wasn't accidental. Chen's comments reflect China's not-so-subtle effort to solidify its territorial claims and enhance its regional influence. Though Nepal is tiny, with a population (about 28 million) that barely exceeds those of the Middle Kingdom's largest cities, China sees it as an ally on sensitive, geostrategic issues like India and Tibet. Nepal's government, meanwhile, seems eager to embrace its new patron. Twenty million is a trifle to China but means a lot to Nepal's war-weary army. By the time Chen left, the country's Maoist-backed leader, Jhalanath Khanal, vowed once again that there would be no "anti-Chinese activities" on Nepal's soil. (See pictures of Nepal's uneasy peace.)

    China's interest in Nepal is primarily geostrategic. "While Beijing has cemented its ties with Pakistan, it is now gaining footholds in India's neighborhood, Burma, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh," said Dhruba Kumar, a political-science professor with Kathmandu's Center of Nepal and Asian Studies. "Their foray into Nepal shows that it has become a launchpad for their broader strategic alliance." That, of course, makes India wary. Nepal depends heavily on Indian imports, with annual trade between the two countries totaling $2 billion. India also funds hundreds of small-scale aid programs across Nepal, spending about $400,000 on things like school and library construction. Not to be outdone, China in April 2009 increased its annual aid to Nepal by 50% to $22 million, with most of the funds going to infrastructure projects.

    The question of Tibet also looms large over this new military partnership. Chen's visit came fast on the heels of the country's suppression of Tibetan protests in Kathmandu. On March 10, the country's police attacked protesters who had gathered to mark the 52nd anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising in China. Ten days later, Tibetans living in Nepal were barred from voting for their government-in-exile while India and other countries allowed them to vote. A Nepalese daily — quoting unnamed sources in the army — said the Chinese delegation sought that the army be deployed on the northern border to stem the tide of Tibetan refugees who cross the mountainous border en route to Dharamsala in India, often risking deportation.

    These moves are seen in Nepal as evidence of Beijing's growing sway among Kathmandu's ruling elite. Indeed, the current Maoist–United Marxist-Leninist coalition government, which replaced the former pro-Indian government, is widely seen as pro-China. Kumar says the Chinese want to forge an alliance with Nepal's army because "it is the only reliable and strong institution, untarnished and untainted, and in which external penetration is still low." Professor S.D. Muni, a visiting fellow at the National University of Singapore, attributes China's upper hand in Nepal to its pragmatism. "Beijing does not have any serious emotional or cultural bonds with Nepal like India does. It can therefore relate itself with any political force in control of Nepal, be it Maoists or the army," he says. The mighty Himalayas may have once been a natural border between the Middle Kingdom and Nepal. As China looks west, that's no longer true.
     
  2.  
  3. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,465
    Likes Received:
    1,923
    Location:
    La La Land
    Nepal Tarai violence: Trace leads to Patna, India

    Nepal’s security agencies have thus traced the root to the spree of bomb explosions rocking Nepal’s Tarai belt in the past three to four days that has brought the public life in the Southern belt at stand still associated with panic.

    According to sources close to Nepal’s security agencies that prefer anonymity for understandable reasons, the plot to shake Nepal once again was devised right in Patna-State capital of Bihar, India.

    Leaders of five armed groups of Tarai operating in Nepal from various parts of India had arrived in Patna for a 2 Day secret meeting. The meeting was held 11-12 February, 2011 and was called by a person known as Jai Kumar. Mr. Kumar perhaps is a Bojpuri speaking Indian national.

    In addition, reports claim that Kumar is director of India’s notorious intelligence agency, RAW-Patna bureau.

    “The meeting was held at a government apartment located in Bailly Road of Patna for security reasons”, sources have it.

    Jai Krishna Goit of Unified Janatantrik Party, Jwala Singh of Tarai Mukti Morcha, Mahindra Paswan of Madhesh Rastriya Janatantrik Party, Ram Lakhan Singh alias Anurag of Tarai Janatantrik Party and Ranvir Singh alias Umesh Yadav of an unknown group were invited for the secret meeting.

    The RAW director of Patna urged the armed Madhesi groups to forget their differences and unite to act as per the plans and strategies charteed by RAW.

    “As per the designs, if prevailing political situation of Nepal do not take shape as per RAW plans and wishes, first the Tarai armed parties and the mainstream parties would be tasked to strongly raise the demand for One Madhesh One Province”, disclose the source referring to the meeting.

    Nepali intelligence too appears to have come of its age.

    “In case the situation further deteriorates, RAW will put its entire weight for splitting Nepal’s Tarai from the mainland to be governed by the parties themselves”.

    “RAW is fully confident that except for Upendra Yadav of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, all other Madhesi leaders will not oppose to its designs”, the source further claims.

    “RAW has plans to check and counter Upendra Yadav through armed group of Jawala Singh- who has strong presence and capability to dismantle Upendra Yadav’s base from Tarai”, the source continues.

    “If Nepal’s political situation slips out of hand of India it is likely to invest huge finances to launch fresh disturbances in Tarai to sideline other political issues albeit suiting to their designs”, the source concludes.
     
  4. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,465
    Likes Received:
    1,923
    Location:
    La La Land
    Siligur Corridor
    [​IMG]

    Off course China has got plans for Siliguri Corridor, and India will try to do everything to defeat enemy's designs. Going by the two reports, will India try to divide Nepal on ethnic lines, is there another Bangladesh in making in South Asia? What are the possibilities? What will be Bhutan's role in the whole drama?
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    10,788
    Likes Received:
    4,552
    can we swap a piece of land with bangladesh ? they give some land near the siliguri corridor while they get some near burma border ?
     

Share This Page