Nepal too joins OBOR, China experts say India must reconsider stance

Experts in China warned that India may be isolated in the region, despite its considerable influence, in the years ahead, if its stance on ties with China continued.

Written by Apurva , Yubaraj Ghimire | Beijing/kathmandu | Published:May 13, 2017 6:10 am
 One Belt One Road, nepal One Belt One Road, India cpec, cpec, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, china pakistan, china india, latest news, latest india news Pakistan’s Sharif arrives in Beijing on Friday. Reuters

Nepal formally signed the One Belt One Road framework agreement Friday, leaving India the only country in South Asia not involved in China’s ambitious economic strategy. Following the announcement on Nepal’s entry, foreign policy experts in China said this will force India to follow suit in the near future or face isolation.

The framework agreement was signed in Kathmandu, 48 hours before the two-day Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Nepal Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi and China’s Ambassador Yu Hong signed the MoU in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat. Nepal officials said this will open new vistas for enhanced Chinese investment in the country. Mahat said joining the OBOR initiative will also reduce Nepal’s trade deficit. Mahara later left for the Beijing forum at the head of a delegation that included ministers Surendra Karki and Ramesh Lekhak.

Officials said Nepal’s formal entry into the OBOR network will allow collaboration in construction of cross-border railways and highways, transmission grids, parks, special economic zones, airports and dry ports, and funds will be provided by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as well as the Silk Road Fund.

Nepal is the last country in South Asia to sign into OBOR with the exception of Bhutan which has no diplomatic ties with China. Heads of state of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar will attend the forum as will high-level delegations from Bangladesh and Nepal. India is yet to finalise its attendance at the forum and is reticent about the initiative, citing sovereignty issues over China’s involvement in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Asked whether India had confirmed its participation in the forum, China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “As far as I know, there are Indian scholars participating in relevant activities during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.” Experts in China warned that India may be isolated in the region, despite its considerable influence, in the years ahead, if its stance on ties with China continued.

Hu Shisheng, Director of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said: “If India does not participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, something all her neighbours are positive about, then the neighbours will have cause to complain. This is not constructive for India and will reduce its appeal in the region. The neighbours may ask questions like why is India not involved?”

With the framework agreement in place, China also envisions a larger role for Nepal in bridging ties between China and India. “Nepal has a big role to play in bringing China and India together. If the projects between Nepal and China are carried forward… If road connectivity between Nepal and China becomes more realistic, I don’t think India can stop the momentum,” Hu said.

Hu also believes India’s northern states would benefit from the Nepal-China agreement, which may even compel the Indian government to reconsider its stance on OBOR. Wang Dehua, Director, Institute for South and Central Asia Studies in Shanghai, said India’s neighbours were heavily invested in the Belt and Road Initiative. “The CPEC is a flagship project, but all countries in South Asia have now confirmed participation in the BRF and are making use of the initiative,”

Recent reports released in China show Pakistan has received more than $46 billion worth investments after the launching of CPEC. CPEC refers to a several infrastructure projects underway in Pakistan including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which India has protested against.

But Pakistan is not alone in its association with China. According to Wang, Sri Lanka has benefited to the tune of $1.5 billion, while Bangladesh has signed more than 20 agreements totalling approximately $24 billion. “Myanmar too will have quite a lot of projects as will Maldives and Nepal,” he said. Chinese developmental projects in Myanmar include the Letpadaung copper mine, Kyaukpyu port and oil and gas pipelines, while infrastructure projects in Maldives include the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge and a new airport runway in Male to boost tourism.

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  1. J
    Jeevan
    May 15, 2017 at 6:28 am
    Lol... ing british slaves left cry baby...!!
    Reply
    1. J
      Jai Ho
      May 14, 2017 at 6:07 am
      India is not Nepal. India is the second most fastest growing economy right after China. Parti tion by India into Belt & Road initiatives guarantees success, parti tion by Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or stan are no guarantee but liabilities. Yuuuuge difference.
      Reply
      1. S
        S. Kumar
        May 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm
        Modi has no foreign or defence policy or plan. He is pretending to be a world statesman and trots around for photo-ops and stunts. The Chinese leadership are sober and solid players with a vision. From Nehru onwards our PMs, with the exception of Indira hi, were outsmarted by the Chinese leadership.
        Reply
        1. B
          bhola jadav
          May 13, 2017 at 8:32 pm
          No need of obor for India
          Reply
          1. C
            canuck
            May 13, 2017 at 7:11 pm
            India is paying for major foreign policy b ers made between 2004 and 2014. While busily looting the country through scams such as 2G, Indian leadershio ignored their relationships with their neighbours. China in the mean time built infrastructure for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. There's nothing to fear here. Doval and Co. will ensure that Nepal pays the price for their repeated treachery...
            Reply
            1. S
              Saurav Arya Brahmin Nepali.
              May 14, 2017 at 10:56 am
              Go yourself.
              Reply
            2. N
              NVR
              May 13, 2017 at 6:31 pm
              It doesnt matter whether India is involved in this project or not. Either way its a loss for India- more from relationship point of view with its neighbors than economical point of view. And meanwhile, Indian leaders are more concerned about becoming more corrupt than others and also on " how to not solve kashmir and naxal problem" and our Economically Superior Frienemy is building its economy more by getting allied with poor and underdeveloped nations. We simply cannot rely on our past relations with our allies. We have to be more rigourous in our approach.
              Reply
              1. A
                angel
                May 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm
                OBOR IS CHINA DRAGON ENSNARING THE GLOBE IT IS ONLY A PLOY TO SELL CHEAP CHINESE GOODS CHEAPER AS THE GOODS WILL TRAVEL BY ROAD. THIS WILL FINISH LOCAL INDUSTRIES. INDIA SHOULD NOT FALL IN THIS TRAP . CHINA DOES NOT GIVE ANYTHING FREE. SEE IN AFRICA THEY HAVE INVESTED AND TAKEN BACK MINERALS AND ALSO PLANTED THEIR PEOPLE TO DO TRADE. YOU SEE CHINESE EVERYWHERE FROM SEL ON ROAD TO WORKING ON BUILDING ROAD & BUILDINGS. SO BEWARE THE DRAGON WILL SWALLOW ALL.
                Reply
                1. S
                  SP
                  May 13, 2017 at 1:21 pm
                  Sure , India must reconsider seriously and come out with its own g plan of recreating ancient Indian international trade and soft power program . Who does not know that the Roman and Greek civilizations fell down because of trade deficit of those empires with India? International historians agree that the trade deficit grew big because of huge imports by those empires of es , food and clothings whereas Indian imports were limited to women and wine during those times.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Simon Dan
                    May 13, 2017 at 12:39 pm
                    India's pride of a loser will keep holding her back.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      RR
                      May 13, 2017 at 10:02 am
                      No relation with china till it keeps on supporting pkistAn like terrorists country. The double standard of china is well recorded in history nd day today dea s. It is a country with most nefarious agendas. U stop supporting pkstn first.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Rahul Aggarwal
                        May 13, 2017 at 10:02 am
                        I dont understand how will China benefit by linking OBOR, to Nepal without India. Any one who can read the map can tell you that, it would be a waste of time to just build a road to Kathmandu. Also why OBOR. Our Infrastructure companies are compe ive enough. Why don't Chinese say that we would invest caoital in India and rest Indians can decide. The reason why Indian companies are visualized as inept is only because of land acquisition problems and environmental clearances which delay the projects. Otherwise if you want proofs of world cl skills, just see the airports of Delhi, Mumbai.
                        Reply
                        1. U
                          Urmila Duhan
                          May 13, 2017 at 9:42 am
                          Who puts out invitations to their country by warning the potential guests? China! So much so for China's sensibilities.
                          Reply
                          1. J
                            Jo Black
                            May 13, 2017 at 9:36 am
                            India should mot waste money by supporting its neighbour. Let them become cliante states. India should use the money by making a strong boarder. Money must be spent in R&D of defence
                            Reply
                            1. C
                              Chintan
                              May 13, 2017 at 9:34 am
                              India's concerns are understandable, but why are Nepal and stan sacrificing their sovereignty and setting their people up for multi-genrational debt by borrowing from the Chinese and letting Chinese trample on their land and build ets is baff . Its not just POK, China is seeking access right through the heart of stan all the way to the port. Why are the people of stan not protesting this Chinese takeover of their sovereign land?
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                RR
                                May 13, 2017 at 10:07 am
                                Once the royal family of nepal was finished, it has become now a totally sold out characterless nation. Just see bhutan how it stands with india in all conditions without conditions . It is a characterful time tested nation. But nepal is totally now a dalla nation. It is pity that India is getting such neighbors while relation with neighbors must b good.
                                Reply
                                1. C
                                  chandra
                                  May 13, 2017 at 11:15 am
                                  indian n india are dalali...just see 6 month;s illegal blockade by modi govt,you are interfering on our national issue,but chinese are good people n they never prefer to interfere our personal issue,india violet international law n justice doing illegal blockade,you people of india don't know what Indian govt doing in Nepal, do you know how many RAW agents are in Nepal, indian govt has largest number of RAW agents in Nepal.
                                  1. S
                                    Saurav Arya Brahmin Nepali.
                                    May 14, 2017 at 10:58 am
                                    Bhutan is a , colony of India. That why it is obeying its master. But for Nepalese, what the is India ?
                                2. R
                                  Rahul Dave
                                  May 13, 2017 at 9:06 am
                                  Never mind Hahn ies. India can live without your One Bi h one Ran i initiative. Decide among yourselves who wants to be a "B" and who wants to be a "R".
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    rameshnk
                                    May 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm
                                    Nepal is joing OBOR. What is the big deal. Nepal is a cogneital beggar. It is playing double game with India and China. Most useless , characterless and Ungreateful people. They will sell themselves to China. How good and friendly Chinese are they will come to know when China one day will jsut goole them like Tibet. Nepalese will then lick Chinese boots. They are just good for that only.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      Menons
                                      May 15, 2017 at 10:15 pm
                                      India should initiate its own OBOR with its neighbouring countires like Nepal, Buhtan, Burma, Bangladesh etc,.. by linking the capitals and major cities with Indian cities and busines ceteres. I wish to see super highways from Khatmandu and Timpu to Delhi, Mumbai, and even up to Kanyakumary the southern tip of India where Napal,Bhutan people can travel and explore the great India.There are mucc more for to give and take by such good relations.
                                      Reply
                                    2. M
                                      Matta
                                      May 13, 2017 at 9:02 am
                                      China is following east-india company methods, first build then exploit. What napal can export to China ? Nothing.
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        Ankush Dey
                                        May 13, 2017 at 9:00 am
                                        Is there some sort of trade happening between India and its neighbours? Yes it is. Will joining OBOR restrict these neighbours to do bilateral agreements/trade with India? No it will not. Does Pak allow over land transit route to India and Afghanistan-Central Asia for trade? No it doesn't. Is stan, therefore, isolated because of this? No it isn't (as per stan & China). Is the GDP of India equal to the GDP of its neighbours, Central Asia & Russia? Yes it is. Does CPEC via Gilgit-Baltistan-Kashmir infringe upon the sovereignty of India? Yes it does. Has China done anything to resolve Indo-Sino border issues, supports India's NSG entry & permanent membership to UNSC, acknowledge that Pak based terror are an issue for peace in the region? No it doesn't. Is it true that world is predicting that by 2050 India will be the second largest economy after US (and surpassing China) without any caveat to OBOR. Yes there are reports. Then why China thinks India will be isolated?
                                        Reply
                                        1. I
                                          Indian
                                          May 13, 2017 at 9:28 am
                                          Brilliant analysis
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            sahil garg
                                            May 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm
                                            Wow wt an analysis
                                            Reply
                                            1. R
                                              rameshnk
                                              May 13, 2017 at 4:23 pm
                                              Fantastic. You are the true son of India. India should be proud of itself. Ulnlike these Nepalese who will turn out to be Chaprasis for Chian.st
                                              Reply
                                            2. A
                                              abbireddy a
                                              May 13, 2017 at 8:52 am
                                              if any country lecturing us about disadvantages of not joining their plan in itself exposes their desperation. WE have nothing to gain by joining obor which will be built with their capital , steel and labour. as long as our demographic advantage lies and our infra and economy develops everybody will b reduced to distant second in coming decades.
                                              Reply
                                              1. M
                                                M G
                                                May 13, 2017 at 8:49 am
                                                ABHOR...not OBOR.. then China and stan, both of your first get out POK... One belt one road will undo the belt of everyone else and pave the road to riches for China
                                                Reply
                                                1. V
                                                  Vinod
                                                  May 13, 2017 at 8:47 am
                                                  China is going to take over Nepal. Then it will take over stan. Only place they will not be able to take over is India. Hence the statements from Chinese so called experts. Just wait and watch they will also take over Sri Lanka, as Sri Lanka will be up to its neck in debt with China. China will work same as a marwadi who sucks your blood after given you cash loans.
                                                  Reply
                                                  1. S
                                                    Shivu R H
                                                    May 13, 2017 at 8:31 am
                                                    Till today, failed to build trust :)
                                                    Reply
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