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Xi jinping Nepal visit 2019 and impact on India

Xi jinping Nepal visit 2019 and impact on India

Tag:GS2 || International relations || India and its neighbours || Nepal

Why in news?

  • President Xi Jinping has wrapped up a landmark visit to Nepal, the first by a Chinese president in 23 years, with 20 deals signed and nearly $500m in financial aid pledged amid Beijing’s growing influence in the Himalayan nation.

Highlights of the visit :

  • Xi Jinping also pledged to upgrade the Arniko Highway linking Kathmandu with Tatopani transit point – which was shut down following the devastating earthquake of 2015 – and open more customs points facilitating connectivity.
  • China also pushed for Nepal’s greater cooperation in Belt and Road Initiative. A trans-Himalayan corridor is in the offing. This will connect Lhasa – the Tibetan capital – with Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. From Kathmandu, the trans-Himalayan corridor of road and rail network would reach, as per plan, Lumbini – the birthplace of Gautam Budhha – on the India-Nepal border.

About Araniko Highway :

  • The road was built in the 1960s with help from the Chinese on an older yak track.
  • They also planned to expand the road in 2012, but keeping the route open was made more difficult by landslides from monsoons.
  • The road became a conduit for a large amount of trade between China and Nepal, and also for some trade between India and China when it is open.

India’s Worry :

  • If Nepal and China sign a defence agreement in the future it could pose major security threats for India.
  • While the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) has been a prickly matter for India, the Nepal government has been desperately pushing for Kerung-Kathmandu railway corridor and finally has an MOU to show off at the domestic front.
  • It could raise security concerns for India as the circuit proposes to connect Kerung to Lumbini via Nepal and could bring China to Indian borders.