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Nepal Joining China’s OBOR Will Be Historical Mistake – OpEd

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Prime Minister of Nepal Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli has rejected the concern expressed by several well wishers of Nepal that Nepal joining One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR) could lead to a dead trap. He has lightly dismissed such view stating that Nepal wants to be seen as a land linked and not as a land locked nation. Obviously, such response of the newly elected Prime Minister to the fear of the concerned people lacks clarity and perhaps reflects confused thinking.

While it is absolutely in order for Nepal to remain as a friendly neighbor with nearby countries like India and China and maintain honorable relationship with nearby countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, the uppermost concern of Nepal’s newly elected Prime Minister should be to ensure that it’s economy would not get into the strangle hold directly or indirectly of any other country.

By its utterances and behavior, China has not concealed it’s ardent desire to dominate entire Asia , using it’s military might and economic muscle power. It unjustifiably and forcibly occupied Tibet and drove out the protesting Tibetans including the venerable the Dalai Lama outside Tibet. Now, China is protesting if any country would officially receive the Dalai Lama , showing it’s merciless attitude towards him.

Nepal should keep in view how China ran through Tibet with it’s force ,suppressed the dissension there and has now gained firm grip over Tibet. How can one think that the fate of Tibet would not happen to any other vulnerable country sharing border with China, particularly when it’s intention to dominate Asia is absolutely clear to any discerning observer in the world?

China’s claim on South China Sea has already upset several nearby countries such as Philippines. China’s claim on Senkaku island has created huge friction with Japan. Such territorial ambition of China is now threatening to destabilize the peace in South East Asia and Far East Asia.

In the last several years, China has been gradually and steadily penetrating into the economy of weak neighboring countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives by extending liberal loans and making investments and taking control of the projects in these regions. These countries already virtually face a situation of debt trap with China.

By extending huge loan to Sri Lanka, China has ensured that Sri Lankan government would be forced to hand over Hambantota port to China , with the possibility of China using it for military purpose in future with Sri Lankan government not being able to prevent such possibility . This is an event in the recent past that Nepal government should not ignore.

Between the year 2013 to 2017, China has extended loan and investment to Pakistan to the level of 61.99 billion USD, which consist of Gwadar port ( $793 million ) Road and rail ( $ 9784 million) , Lahore Metro ($ 1620 million), Energy ($ 33793 million) and additional loan ( $ 16,000 million). China – Pakistan Economic Corridor extends road and rail link from China upto Gwadar in Pakistan, passing through several cities including Islamabad and Lahore. Pakistan has handed over Gwadar port to China on 40 year lease, where there is strategic port. Considering the investments made by China in Pakistan and the debt extended to it which Pakistan will not be able to repay in future, Pakistan is virtually under debt trap of China. Many critics even think that Pakistan faces the threat of becoming an extended territory of China.

Nepal is a sovereign and independent country and it has to ensure that it would not depend beyond a reasonable level on any country.

It is very well known and China has not concealed the fact that the short term and long term object of One Belt One Road initiative launched by China is to achieve the twin purposes of strengthening the Chinese economy by getting orders for Chinese companies which presently suffer from huge under utilization of capacity and in the process get stranglehold on the economy and industry of the weak nearby countries , who would be tempted by the extension of investment and debt by China in these countries to support and fund the OBOR project.


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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

3 thoughts on “Nepal Joining China’s OBOR Will Be Historical Mistake – OpEd

  • April 8, 2018 at 10:40 pm
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    Envy morphs into jealousy and metastasized into irrational and uncontrolled hatred, now seeking a desperate expression in many media outlets. There are china haters and china haters: some are more intelligent, but subtle is Venkataraman not.

    [1] “the uppermost concern of Nepal’s newly elected Prime Minister should be to ensure that it’s economy would not get into the strangle hold directly or indirectly of any other country.” – At last week’s meeting in Delhi April 2018, Nepal PM Oli had to give in to India’s PM Modi’s demand to scrap a dam project, already awarded to China, and to give it to India. Else, India will not buy electricity from Nepal. It is Indian blackmail.

    [2] “It unjustifiably and forcibly occupied Tibet” – When British India invaded Tibet in 1911 and demanded huge reparations, it was the emperor in Beijing who paid up. In November 2008, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: “Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China.” Tibet has been part of China for at least 600 years; it was never SIKKIMISED.

    [3] “By extending huge loan to Sri Lanka, China has ensured that Sri Lankan government would be forced to hand over Hambantota port to China, with the possibility of China using it for military purpose in future with Sri Lankan government not being able to prevent such possibility. This is an event in the recent past that Nepal government should not ignore.” – Nepal should not ignore that during the Sri Lankan civil war, India trained and armed the Tamil tigers, hoping to carve out a Tamil state in a neighbouring country. India interfered in the internal affairs of Mauritius and Maldives. Had Maldives not reached out to other countries, Indian armed forces would have invaded and overrun the country.

    [4] “Many critics even think that Pakistan faces the threat of becoming an extended territory of China.” – There is ONLY one critic. And quite honestly Pakistan would be a hell lot better off to be associated with China’s OBOR than with India’s Akhand Bharat (Greater Indian empire replacing the British Empire, controlling the former British colonies: Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Bengladesh, Burma, Ceylon, Maurities, Maldives, Seychelles)

    [5] “Nepal is a sovereign and independent country and it has to ensure that it would not depend beyond a reasonable level on any country.” – Until of late Nepal’s foreign policy, was directly dictated by India. And when Nepal wanted to show some independence, India was quick to punish the landlocked country. The 2015 Nepal blockade (preventing the transport of food, fuel and medicine into the country), which began on 23 September 2015 following a devastating earthquate, is an economic and humanitarian crisis, which severely affected Nepal and its economy.

    Venka – please advise Modi to respect the sovereignty and independence of Bhutan, and pull out the 50,000 Indian soldiers in Bhutanese land (pop: 740,000). Allow Bhutan to develop foreign relations with US, EU, Russia, China, ASEAN to better serve its national interests, instead of being under the control of one country – India.

    Reply
    • April 8, 2018 at 11:28 pm
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      vjie…… Excellent response and analysis of the biased and subjective view of Venkataraman.
      vjie, you should be an advisor to our government in Nepal.

      Reply

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