- Dec 29, 2010
India and China had reached an agreement back in 2015 to establish an Indian consulate in the city of Chengdu and also one for China in Chennai. Neither has come up
India and China had reached an agreement back in 2015 to establish an Indian consulate in the city of Chengdu and also one for China in Chennai. Neither has come up.
Nepal has opened a consulate general in China’s southwestern city of Chengdu, its fifth diplomatic mission in the country, in the latest symbol of increasingly close ties between Kathmandu and Beijing.
India and China had reached an agreement in 2015 to establish an Indian consulate in Chengdu and one for China in Chennai. Neither has come up.
Apart from an embassy in Beijing, Nepal has a consulate each in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), and Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, an economic powerhouse. It also has a consulate office in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.
Nepal will be among the handful of countries to have a diplomatic mission in the city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.
The Himalayan country, sandwiched between India and China, is the only one to have a consulate general in Lhasa.
Speaking at the inauguration on Monday, Nepalese ambassador Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said mutual trust, understanding and good neighbourliness have remained the hallmarks of Nepal-China bilateral relations since ancient times.
According to a press statement released by the Nepalese embassy in Beijing, the vice-governor of Sichuan government, Li Yunze said the establishment of the consulate general would facilitate the promotion of trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
Incidentally, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China in 2015, New Delhi and Beijing had reached an agreement to establish new consulates in each other’s countries - in Chengdu and in Chennai.
The decision to open an Indian consulate in Chengdu was taken after China said no to India’s request to open a consulate in Lhasa.
Six years later, neither the Indian nor the Chinese consulate has been established, a sign of fraught bilateral ties.
In the interim period, ties between China and Nepal seemingly deepened.
According to the Nepalese government, China has been topping in FDI pledges to Nepal since 2015.
“Of total FDI pledges that stand at $95 million, China alone pledged $88 million during the first quarter, according to the department. This represents nearly 93% of total foreign investments committed FDI, showing the dominant position of China when it comes to FDI commitments to the Himalayan nation,” a report by the Chinese news agency Xinhua said in 2019.
Beijing also has plans to build the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network through TAR and Nepal as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation between the two countries.
The opening of the new Nepalese mission in China comes weeks after Nepal took part, along with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, in a China-led foreign ministers’ virtual meeting with focus on controlling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had visited Kathmandu in October 2019 for the first state visit to Nepal by a Chinese head of state in 23 years following his informal summit with Modi in Chennai.
Last December, Xi and his Nepalese counterpart, Bidya Devi Bhandari, jointly announced the new height of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, to be 8,848.86 metres.