Nepal Between the Dragon and the Elephant

Analysis by Shastri Ramachandaran

MUMBAI (IDN) – Yet another South Asian country, Nepal, is falling for the charms of China. The language of this new dalliance, regardless of where it may lead, is causing unease in India. Arriving in Beijing on March 20 for a week-long visit, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said that his country’s relationship with China was “as high as the Himalayas”, which he said symbolised friendship.

In what could be a red rag to New Delhi, Oli called China an “all-weather friend”, a term loaded with China’s value for Pakistan as a deterrent against India. China-Pakistan friendship, however, has moved to a higher realm — that of “iron brothers forever”, as Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored on his first state visit to Pakistan in April 2015. The parallel with Pakistan does not end there.

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