GT investigates: How is 'China encroaching on Nepalese land' rumor concocted? Insiders find out on-site

By Hu Yuwei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/9 2:09:44

Karchen Lama (fifth from right) and his team visit the No.12 pillar at the China-Nepal border on November 4. Photo: Courtesy of Karchen Lama

The rumors of China trespassing Nepalese land has died down, as Nepalese authorities and investigators conducted in-person visits to the border to clarify the situation, but local observers pointed to the looming foreign forces behind the China-bashing in the Himalayan country.

Some recent Western reports, citing anonymous Nepalese politicians, groundlessly said Chinese military had crossed the China-Nepal border into the district of Humla and moved the stone pillars used to demarcate the boundary into Nepalese territory for China to construct military bases.

Nepalese insiders told the Global Times that repeated frontline investigations have found that the border pillars were not moved but were covered with ice and mud.

Fabricated Western media reports accusing China of encroaching on Nepalese land reflect the political intentions of some anti-China forces and pro-India hardliners, said some Nepalese observers who shared their first-hand observations and analysis with the Global Times.

Media reports claiming that China has annexed more than 150 hectares of Nepalese land have been proven false by repeated investigations of teams from China and Nepal. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbing criticized the groundless reports are "fake news without any factual basis, and are complete rumors" on a press conference on November 3.

However, despite that foreign ministries of both countries have dismissed the reports, some media kept hyping them amid rising regional instability where both China and Nepal are caught in border disputes with India.

A truck from Nepal passes through the Gyirong Port on the China-Nepal border. Photo: Xinhua

Karchen Lama, chairman of Himali Bhote Lama National Liberation Front, a sisterhood organization of Nepal Communist Party (NCP), led a 16-member team to visit the border area on November 4 and found the pillars remained where they were, he told the Global Times.

"The No.12 stone boundary pillar is in the same place. There is no disturbance from the Chinese side. The Chinese side forces are alert on security related issues," said Karchen Lama.

Another Humla district official, who preferred not to be named and was part of the Nepalese joint investigation team comprised of police, the army and other departments, also confirmed the pillars were found in their original positions. He said no "untoward incidents were found," and the news reports completely misrepresented and distorted the situation. 

Two pillars - No.11 and No.12 pillars - are located in difficult terrain of one of Nepal's most remote districts, and only a few investigation teams with professional equipment can reach them and conduct scientific analysis, according to Karchen Lama and some other local insiders.

The buildings that some in Nepal say encroach on its land in Nepal's Humla district actually fall within Chinese territory and are part of a newly built village in Burang county in Ali, Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, a Burang county official told the Global Times in a previous interview. 

A Chinese source close to the matter told the Global Times on October 16 that pillars 11 and 12 are very high in altitude and far away from each other. The border line was drawn according to the trend of the mountains, so it is very erratic and easy for non-professional surveyors to make mistakes.

Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali clarified earlier in September there is no territorial dispute between China and Nepal. He recalled a similar rumor about land encroachment by the Chinese side from Limi village into Humla district that surfaced in 2016. After a field inspection, the Nepalese inter-ministerial team had concluded the buildings in question were actually located approximately one kilometer inside the Chinese territory from the Nepal-China border, according to a Nepalese foreign ministry statement.

Newspaper headline: Border bearings


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