Curated by Shailesh Shukla | navbharattimes.com | Updated: Oct 4, 2021, 2:26 PM
China Belt and Road Initiative Nepal: Now the atmosphere in Nepal has intensified against China’s Belt and Road project. Nepalese leaders are afraid that their country may not only be buried under China’s debt, but the environment may also be harmed.
Strong opposition to China’s infamous Belt and Road project and Dragon’s other investments in India’s neighboring country Nepal has started. The Nepalese people have now realized that the Belt and Road, the dream project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is not beneficial for this Himalayan country. Not only this, after the cancellation of BRI plans in many African countries, there is a demand from Nepalese leaders that we also need to reconsider the Chinese project.
Nepalese leaders are afraid that their country may also be buried under Chinese debt in the name of BRI. Former Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal Rajendra Mahto told The Sunday Guardian that China’s BRI project in the country is still in its early stages. We have to think a lot before going ahead with this project. He said that there is a need for wider consultation in this regard in the country. We have to see whether BRI is beneficial for Nepal? How will this prove helpful to the Nepali people? How will it affect national and international relations?
The list of failures of Chinese investment in Nepal is long.
Mahto said that what will be the impact of China’s BRI project on India, which is our neighboring country and with which we have 1800 km border. Before taking a decision on BRI, we have to stress that Nepalese land should not be used against anyone. He said that if this Chinese project is not beneficial for the Nepalese people, then we should not go ahead with it and if it is then we should go ahead.
The experience of Nepal’s biggest hydropower project, Budhi Gandaki, has not been good and due to this 40 thousand people have been badly affected. Not only this, the list of failures of Chinese investment in Nepal is very long. At the same time, experts from all over the world have warned about BRI and they believe that China wants to establish its dominance in other countries through this project. In the year 2017, 60 countries of the world had approved the BRI and Nepal was the leading country in South Asia.
China’s eyes on Nepal’s natural wealth and minerals
China had promised Nepal that it would invest $10 billion in the initial years. But now people are realizing that all is not well in the Chinese project. A senior Nepali Congress leader, on the condition of anonymity, said, “In 2011, China had promised that it would build Nepal’s largest hydropower project, Budhi Gandaki. It was to be completed in the year 2022 but till now the Chinese company has not even started the construction work. Interestingly, the contract was awarded to the Chinese company in September 2018 without any tender. The then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was dancing at the behest of China at that time and he gave this contract.
During this, KP Sharma Oli did not even listen to anyone. The Nepal government had said that the displaced people would be given full compensation but this did not happen and people are very dissatisfied. At the same time, now this project has also not been financially implementable. At the same time, Nepal is also afraid that these huge projects of China may have a bad effect on the environment and it is very important for this Himalayan country. China has made an agreement to run railways in Nepal, but Nepalese leaders fear that they will not be able to return the 5 billion dollars spent in it. On the other hand, experts have warned that China’s eyes are on Nepal’s natural wealth and minerals. For this reason, the demand to reconsider the BRI is now increasing.