I currently have a home in Nepal, a little, landlocked country. The house of Mount Everest, the worlds highest mountain peak, Nepal is well known for exporting hardly any and importing quite a bit, with individuals of Nepal relying heavily on tourism as a income source.
Then, one wonders, why are three of the very most powerful countriesChina, India, and the United Statesso thinking about a country roughly how big is Illinois?
Nepal shares a border with India. But because the movie Grumpy Old Men taught us, neighbors dont always go along. Despite linguistic, religious, and cultural similarities, India and Nepal aren’t on good terms. Actually, both countries havent been on good terms for many years.
Recently, the governments of both countries have clashed on the Kalapani territory, sort of no-mans-land that lies at the eastern border of Uttarakhand, circumstances in northern India crossed by the Himalayas, and Nepals Sudurpashchim Pradesh. Even though territory is under Indian rule, the Nepali people argue that their neighbors have stolen whats rightfully theirs. India never tires of angering individuals of Nepal, and as a result of this, the Nepali government is becoming increasingly close making use of their other neighbors in China. And in addition, the Indian government is actually worried concerning the Chinese Communist Partys (CCP) growing presence in Nepal.
A different country that is concerned about the influence of Beijing may be the USA. In 2015, Nepal applied to become a section of the U.S. State Partnership Program (SPP), a joint security cooperation program between your Department of Defense (DOD) and foreign countries. Established in 1993, this program now has 77 partners all over the world. In June of the year, however, Nepals government had a big change of heart, officially communicating that the land of 30 million people was no more thinking about joining the SPP.
Some critics have argued that the SPP is closely aligned with america Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), a tactical plan made to address the threat from China. Nepal, it appears, has little fascination with angering its Chinese neighbors. Thats because Sino-Nepalese relations are supposedly markedby reciprocity and cooperation.
Nepal isn’t a rich country. Its per capita income is just a little over $1,000. Its infrastructure leaves too much to be desired. Nepal needs all of the investment it could get. China is too ready to assist. This past year, Nepal received $268 million in foreign direct investment. China provided 71 percent ($188 million) of it. The question, though, is excatly why? How come China so thinking about Nepal?
First, there exists a amount of FOMO (concern with really missing out). If China doesnt enter there, the CCP fears that its two biggest rivals, India and america, will. Second, Nepal, firmly nestled between India and China, occupies a spot of real geostrategic significance. Third, Nepal comes with an abundance of valuable minerals like coal, iron, copper, and limestone.
Theres also a fourth, extremely intriguing reason that explains Chinas interest. As Lt. Gen. Chauhan, a commander with the Indian Army, recently noted, the slightest stir in Nepal could have a residual influence on India and China, especially in Tibet. Nepal is, in lots of ways, the gateway to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Chauhan believes Nepal now plays an essential role in Chinas South Asia outreach and the gateway to the Indo Gangetic Plains of India, in lots of ways the heartland of India. The Chinese, he warns readers, view Nepal because the soft underbelly of Southern Tibet and so are now determined to help keep it under their influence.
This brings us to the Dalai Lama, a guy synonymous with Tibet.
In 1959, when China annexed Tibet, Gyalwa Rinpoche, the 14th and current Dalai Lama, fled to the Indian city of Dharamsala. Situated on the edge of the Himalayas, the town houses a lot of exiled Tibetans, the Dalai Lama included. Like people, the spiritual guru isn’t getting any younger. He recently celebrated his 87th birthday. A successor should be chosen. The Dalai Lama has discussed the chance of his successor from the free country. He’s got also floated the thought of an attractive female replacement.
Naturally, the CCP has other plans. Beijing has managed to get abundantly clear that the Dalai Lamas successor will undoubtedly be chosen by Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his colleagues. Based on the Chinese foreign ministry, the reincarnation must adhere to Chinese regulations, follow rituals and historic conventions.
We have now face the real chance for two successors being chosenone by the Dalai Lama and something by the CCP. Contrary to public opinion, Buddha was created in Nepal, not India. If Nepal were to throw its weight behind the CCPs candidate, it could put in a veneer of credibility (albeit an extremely light one) to the Chinese candidate.
Its obvious to see that Nepal is really a country of real significance, thus explaining why China, India, and america are so thinking about this highly volatile, multicultural state. Nepal, it appears, is only thinking about among its suitors. WHEN I finish writing this short piece, Narayan Khadka, Nepals foreign minister, is getting ready to board a plane to China, much to america dismay. At the same time of heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington, Kathmandu is siding with the former and shunning the latter.
Views expressed in this post will be the opinions of the writer , nor necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
John Mac Ghlionn is really a researcher and essayist. His work has been published by the brand new York Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, National Review, and The Spectator US, amongst others. He covers psychology and social relations, and contains a keen fascination with social dysfunction and media manipulation.