Strategic Partnership: New Height of Nepal-China Relations

August 23, 2021 11:23 am

I am happy that the Nepal-China relation has become a matter of concern and interaction at the people’s level. The dynamics of our relations have been extended with the successful visit of President Xi Jinping. We have also upgraded our relations to the status of strategic partnership from the level of comprehensive partnership. 

Media, civil society, and political parties have immense roles to promote bilateral relations. The integrated relationship among all levels including the government will make our relations strategic. We have had a good and friendly relationship with China for a long time. We are aware of the fact that our relations at the people’s level were in place before formal relations were established between Nepal and China in 1955. We can cite the examples of Araniko and Bhrikuti when we talk of ties in the bygone era. Several instances of friendly relations between Nepal and China go back to the 7th century and beyond. Our respected experts will be able to shed better light on the subject. Nepal-China relations should be considered from three dynamics. First, it involves relations at the government level that I mentioned earlier. We have entered into the framework of strategic partnership. The visit of the President of China has materialized after 23 years of interval. Second, I would like to mention about relations at people’s level that is in place from very ancient time. Several organizations are active and these kinds of forums are conducted to study our historic ties.

Before the visit of President Xi, Chief of the foreign department of the Communist Party of China Song Tao had visited Nepal. Our two communist parties signed an agreement on that occasion. We discussed the role of political parties to extend relations at the people’s level and extend them to party levels, besides relations between the two states or governments.  One of the important factors of this aspect is to deepen people-to-people relations. 

Our relations with India and China are still to remain balanced though we have been talking about such relations between the two neighboring countries. We want to maintain balanced relations with our two neighbors. The Nepal Communist Party-led government constituted following general elections held under the new Constitution in 2015 has played a significant role in maintaining balanced relations on the basis of equal sovereignty between the two nations.  Trade and transit treaties with China were pending and we have completed the important task by signing the documents between the two nations. We signed a historic agreement related to connectivity by giving it a high priority during the visit of President Xi. 

The frequency of visits from China, concern, and goodwill has been increased. Her Excellency Chinese Ambassador to Nepal was scheduled to attend this function.  A high-level team of Tibet Autonomous Regions of China is also visiting Nepal today.  The governor of Yunnan Province had completed his visit to Nepal last week. Before that, the deputy chief of the publication department of the Hubei Province visited Nepal. These visits and exchanges have extended our warm relations. We told China that China has not made its ideology the basis of foreign policy. During the talks with King Birendra, Chairman Mao had assured us that China would not export its ideology and we need not establish relations on that basis. China has not changed its foreign policy irrespective of regime changes in Nepal. 

China does not issue statements of being excited and frustrated from a small event and change in Nepal. Nepal also has not deviated from its foreign policy with China. It is firm in its ‘One China Policy’. Nepal has been expressing this commitment in national and international forums. Sometimes, we see some unnatural activities even inside China. Power centers seem to be adopting a policy of encircling China. We are always with China being fully aware that China is free, sovereign, and responsible to protect its territory and its people, and address the feelings of its people. The more we boost relations at people and party levels, the more our government will feel easy to renew, rethink and upgrade relations as per the need of the time. 

The dynamics of our relations and areas of cooperation increased with a focus on development and progress. As a party worker, I claim that all credits for such subtle changes go to NCP and its leadership. We know that Chairman Prachanda had started his foreign visit from China during his first tenure as Prime Minister. We are aware of the impact and reason for the visit. We have taken risks time and again. He has had the occasion to meet President Xi many times with a view to strengthening relations between us. A broad spirit of national consensus seen during the visit of President Xi is a testimony to strengthened ties with China. We have differences on many levels. We have opposition parties in Nepali politics, and Nepal has its own characteristics. However, there were no differences among politicians, media, civil societies, intellectuals, political parties on the relevance of Xi’s visit. Apart from its inspiring message, there is a national consensus on the Belt and Road Initiative. 

It is important to mention that Prachanda was Prime Minister and Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat Foreign Minister when we signed the BRI framework in 2017. It represents a political consensus on relations with China. We are one to raise voices with unity in national and international forums.  We have developed an understanding of this aspect. This is our great achievement. Interactions at the people’s level denote an extension of relations between Nepal and China. 

Nepal-China: People to People

Edition: 2020

Publisher: Nepal-China Media Forum