Controversies surface in Kathmandu on the eve of Nepal PM’s China visit

New Chinese map and Chinese ambassador's statement on India's policies on Nepal have become the subject of controversies in Kathmandu.

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NL Today

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Kathmandu: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda is scheduled to visit China in two weeks. However, two controversies have surfaced on the eve of Nepal’s executive head’s visit to Beijing. Both controversies have been created by the Chinese side.

First controversy is related to the new political map issued by China late last month. On August 28, China released its 2023 edition of the map which omitted the pointed part of Nepal map, called Chuche Naksa in Nepali parlance that includes Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas as parts of the Nepali territory. The new map created such uproar among the Nepali political circle that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement asking the northern neighbor not to disrespect the Nepali map. “Nepal stands firm and clear on its political and administrative map unanimously approved by the Parliament of Nepal in 2020,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The Government of Nepal unequivocally believes that this map must be respected by our neighbors as well as the international community.” Nepal also reiterated that Nepal is committed to resolving the boundary matters through dialogues and diplomacy.

 Voices are being raised that PM Dahal should raise this matter with China during his upcoming visit. The government has not officially responded whether this issue would indeed be raised in Beijing but CPN (Maoist Centre) spokesperson Agni Prasad Sapkota has said the topic would be discussed during Prime Minister’s visit to China.     

“Talks should be held through the diplomatic channel regarding the map issued by China. Diplomatic initiatives should be stepped up,” the party spokesman said early this month.

Hot on the heels of the map controversy, Chinese ambassador Chen Song made a statement which has created another controversy. While addressing a program in the capital on Saturday, Ambassador Chen Song said India has unfriendly policies toward Nepal.  “India’s policy towards Nepal and other neighbors is not so friendly and not so beneficial to Nepal,” he said.

 Several leaders have objected to this statement by Ambassador Chen.  Foreign Minister NP Saud clarified on Thursday that the ministry is studying the statement by the Chinese envoy. He was speaking at the International Relations Committee of the parliament.

[Related: New Chinese map continues to draw flak in Nepal]