Side-bent Nepal-China Diplomacy
(Summary of this Nepali version article is written in English just below this image)
Nepal-China boundary agreement was made in 1960, boundary treaty in 1961, border demarcation was done in 1961-62 and boundary Protocol was signed in 1963. During the demarcation, there were conflicts and disputes in 32 places and spots including the controversy of Sagarmatha (Mount Everest). But all the conflicts were resolved amicably within a period of one and half years. The issue of Everest was settled for ever in the Prime Ministerial level.
The first Protocol was renewed and consequently second and third Protocol was made in 1979 and 1988 respectively. To renew the third Protocol and to prepare the fourth Protocol, Nepal-China joint boundary committee was formed in 2004 and it is still working, whereas the second and third protocol was signed within two years period each. But the fourth Protocol is not yet prepared since ten years have been elapsed. What may be the reason ? Whether is it due to the present ‘Side-bent Diplomacy between two countries ? If so, and again what is the reason ?
There are two reasons: the first is the conflict on the boundary marker number 57 and the height of the Everest. On these issues, Nepal says- the marker 57 has been misplaced and 6 hectares of Nepali territory have been encroached. In response, China says- it was established during 1961-62 demarcation and it is established correctly.
On the second issue, China proposes to mention the height of Everest as 8844.43 meter as the rock height. Nepal pleads- We don’t believe, if one says that the height of Sagarmatha has been decreased. Similarly, we don’t agree if some other says that the height of Sagarmatha has been increased. National Geographic, USA has published a map depicting the height as 8850 metre. But we we are rigid in our traditional height, until and unless we measure the height of Sagarmatha by ourselves, as this the heritage and property of Nepal. So these two small issues have been the bone of contention between two countries.
The other aspect of the ‘side-bent of Nepal-China border diplomacy’ is that China had invited Nepal for a boundary meeting fixed beforehand for 1st February 2012. Nepal also prepared to attend the meeting to resolve the issue. But at the eleventh hour, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai directed, just two days before the meet, to the Nepali team ‘not to raise and deal the matter on that issue’. And the Nepali team did not attend the joint meeting. This may be the ‘side-bent of border diplomacy’ between China and Nepal.
Whatever may be the above mentioned matter, it has to be dealt in a new perspective. Nothing has to be worried. Now the time has come to make the ‘feeble border diplomacy’ to be converted into ‘active diplomacy.’ Many of the Chinese and Nepali delegations have been exchanged visits for the last few months. Most recently, Chinese Communist Party’s International Department Deputy Minister Chhen Fengxiyang and many other Chinese high level delegations have visited Nepal. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is landing Kathmandu on 25 December. There is a great possibility of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015 as well.
Due to above mentioned reasons, Nepal has disheartened China and it has made a stricken with sorrow to China. Now it has to fill in a ditch and the border diplomacy has to be put forward by Nepal officially and unofficially or formally or informally to the visiting Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Because Chinese authorities are positive to Nepal. So, Nepal has to play a role to rejuvenate the border discussion and the issues have to be resolved amicably.