Experts urge India to join trilateral cooperation with Nepal

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/18 21:23:40

China's cooperation with Nepal will contribute to the prosperity and stability of South Asia instead of seeking hegemony in this region, Chinese experts said, urging India to think and act more positively toward the trilateral cooperation.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China is willing to build multidimensional cross-Himalaya connectivity with Nepal, while speaking to Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Wednesday, according to a statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Gyawali arrived in Beijing on Monday for a five-day visit.

"China, India and Nepal are natural friends and partners," Wang said, adding he hopes Nepal can serve as a channel between China and India, and also benefit from the two countries' development.

"Nepal needs China and India to help its economy recover. Closer cooperation with Nepal also assists China with its Belt and Road initiative," said Qian Feng, a researcher at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies.

In his meeting with Gyawali, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said he hopes the two countries can take the Belt and Road initiative as an opportunity to expand all-around cooperation to lead bilateral ties to a new high, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

However, bilateral cooperation between China and Nepal upsets India, which believes China is trying to win over Nepal to confront it, Qian noted.

Indian media Hindustan Times warned its country in December 2017 that "the possibility of Kathmandu moving closer to Beijing will have negative consequences for India, which should be anticipated and promptly dealt with."

China and Nepal have been enthusiastic about China's proposed China-India-Nepal economic corridor, which boosts the three countries' cooperation and helps build mutual trust between China and India, said Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations.

Experts said the ball is in India's court when it comes to building such a corridor. "India should abandon its narrow mindset and stop considering China as a foe. Participating in border cooperation benefits everyone," Qian said.

Wang Yi also said China appreciates Nepal's opposition to any activity that threatens China's sovereignty, stressing that the Tibet and Taiwan questions are China's domestic affairs.

Law enforcement departments of both countries should strengthen cooperation to fight activities that threaten China's national unity, especially separatists in Tibet, Qian pointed out.


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