Nepalese army does not leave Kalapani! Modi’s heart was swinging

Protesters in Nepal this week burnt the effigies of Chinese President Xi Jinping after a recent government report indicated Beijing had encroached on 36 hectares of Nepalese land, roughly the size of 26 football fields. Kathmandu’s document showing the alleged Chinese encroachment was ironically a response to a map released on November 2 by New Delhi, which claimed a 372 square-kilometre border region known as Kalapani in Nepal as part of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.
According to the document released by Nepal’s Survey Department in early November 4 districts sharing a border with China Sankhuwasabha, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk & Humla were seen losing territories as Beijing expanded its road projects.The government data suggested Nepal stood to lose a further several hundred hectares of land to Beijing.
Local media said protesters shouted slogans & held placards reading “Go back to China!”and “Return Nepali land” in multiple districts across the country on November 11.
But Anil Sigdel director of the Washington-based think tank Nepal Matters for America said he did not find the report important as far as Nepal’s border issues with China are concerned.The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing under the existing mechanism, said India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Landlocked Nepal a tiny Himalayan nation, is sandwiched between India & China which are both seeking to deepen ties. New Delhi, traditionally a strong ally of Kathmandu & Nepal’s largest trading partner has in recent years been losing its influence with Nepal through Beijing’s infrastructure projects & aid.
“The Nepal China border is 1 of the most tranquil borders in the world,” said Bhim Bhurtel a former executive director of the Nepal South Asia Centre think tank in Kathmandu.“The anti-China protests are highly insignificant as compared to anger against India.
These are very small & are from the political forces known to be pro-India in Nepal” Bhurtel said.This week’s street protests against Xi occurred just a month after he made a landmark 2 day visit to the country in October in the first tour by a Chinese leader to the Himalayan nation in over 2 decades.
Kathmandu has in recent years been turning to Beijing for increased cooperation in response to New Delhi’s economic blockade which in 2015 saw it drastically cutting off supplies of fuel & medicines.The unofficial blockade which was never formally admitted by India but led to a severe humanitarian crisis in Nepal was aimed at pressuring Kathmandu in favour of more rights for the Indian-origin Madheshi minority.