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Opinion

China encroaches Nepal

READERS' VIEWS - The Freeman

Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping told the ASEAN summit leaders: China will never use its power to bully smaller nations. He told United Nations General Assembly: China will never seek hegemony and expansion. China has no intention to fight neither a cold war nor a hot war with any country. But the truth is that China has territorial disputes with 18 nations. One of them is Nepal.

Nepal was ruled for many years by Communist Party leader Sharma Oli. He was favorable to Xi Jinping and welcomed his financial aid. But during the same time China built streets, villages, and a canal in several border districts: Dolakha, Gorkha, Darchula, Sankhuwasabha, Sindhupal Chowk, Rasuwa, Darchula, and Humla. Everywhere the locals protested. In front of the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu protesters held up placards with slogans like: China out of Nepal. Of course the Chinese denied all accusations as baseless. And Oli kept silent. He hid the truth and refused to tell the world about the incursions. Then opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba blamed Oli for cozying up to China and not doing enough to safeguard Nepalese territory. But in September 2020 Oli was deposed and since Deuba is at the helm of Nepal. He at once ordered a “study” of the border dispute in Humla. The report has not been published but recently it partly leaked.

In order to understand the report’s findings we must know some facts: The Sino-Nepalese frontier is based on the 1961 Border Treaty and a series of other treaties between the two nations. It is marked by about 100 main and subsidiary pillars along the 1,439-kilometer border in the Himalaya Mountains’ inaccessible and difficult mostly snow-covered terrain. So the exact run is unclear.

Xi Jinping justifies his encroachments into the eight territories arguing that they once belonged to Tibet and since Tibet was annexed in 1950 by China, the eight territories also belong to China.

The leakages confirm that in Humla’s village Lalungjong the Chinese police restricted the inhabitants from practicing their religion. Also Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims who use to flock to the place due to the proximity of worshipped Mount Kailash on the Chinese side were sent off by Chinese agents. Farmers said that Chinese soldiers limit the grazing areas of their animals. Some 20,000 Tibetans who fear Beijing’s repressions have fled over the border into Nepal, India, and elsewhere. The Chinese try to cut off the escape route. China is hostile to India’s good relations with Nepal and the Tibetan government-in-exile. They grant the Dalai Lama asylum.

The new Chinese Land Border Law is in effect since January 1, 2022. It orders the People’s Liberation Army to mark all its 22,457-km land borders and give disputed and occupied territories Chinese names.

Another small and peaceful country has become victim of Xi Jinping’s expansionism: Bhutan. On an area of more than 100 square kilometers China has built numerous villages. Chinese military are threatening to push through between the two countries into India’s “Chicken’s Neck”, the Siliguri Corridor that separates the bulk of India’s land mass from its northeastern provinces of Arunachal Pradesh. But that is another long story of China’s bullying other nations.

Erich Wannemacher

ASEAN

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