Tag Archives: diplomacy

Nepal China Agreement in Beijing

Nepal China talks in Beijing 25 December

Nepal Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and China Foreign Minister Wang Yin
Nepal Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and China Foreign Minister Wang Yin

Today Nepal and China agreed to expand and consolidate bilateral cooperation focusing mainly on trade, transit, investment, energy, tourism and infrastructure development, according to a statement issued by Nepal’s Foreign Ministry.  The agreement was reached during a meeting between Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minister Kamal Thapa and the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing.  “China has expressed its willingness to seriously examine Nepal’s proposals for importation of petroleum products from China and has advised the respective companies of the two countries to jointly examine the matters relating to price, transportation and other logistics,” the statement says. Soon after this ministerial agreement, Deputy Chief of Nepal Oil Corporation Sushil Bhattarai and Under Secretary Navaraj Dhakal of Ministry of Commerce and Supplies were called (by Foreign Minister Thapa) to Beijing to sign an agreement on importing petro-products from China. Both Bhattarai and Dhakal have reached Beijing on Friday.

The Chinese side informed that travel advisories issued in the context of earthquake in Nepal has been lifted with immediate effect and hoped the number of Chinese visitors would increase significantly in future. Nepal reciprocated by announcing that visa fees for Chinese tourists visiting Nepal will be waived.

Key points (via NT):

  1. Prime Minster KP Oli is invited to visit China next year.
  2. Post-earthquake reconstruction will be accelerated, and both Araniko Highway and Syafru-Rasuwagadhi Highway will be repaired.
  3. Trade and investment cooperation will be strengthened.
  4. Long-term oil and gas trade between the two countries will be explored.
  5. Existing ports will be repaired and rehabilitated.
  6. The process to sign a Transit Transportation Agreement will be accelerated.
  7. A feasibility study will be conducted on Free Trade Agreement.
  8. Cultural exchanges will be furthered.
Nepal China talks in Beijing 25 December
Nepal-China bilateral meeting in Beijing today. Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa led the Nepali side while the Chinese side was led by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Invited by Wang, Thapa is on an official China visit from Dec. 24-29.

Most relevant parts of the press statement issued by the Foreign Ministry:

The Chinese Foreign Minister… expressed China’s strong desire to see a peaceful, stable and prosperous Nepal. He further said China would continue assisting Nepal in her development endeavours.

The two sides discussed the importance of exchanging high level visits between the two countries. The Chinese side has conveyed the invitation to the Prime Minister of Nepal to visit China at an early date. There will be a high-level visit from China to Nepal as well next year.

Expressing happiness over the development of bilateral relations and cooperation over the last 60 years, the two sides agreed to expand and consolidate bilateral cooperation focusing mainly on trade, transit, investment, energy, tourism and infrastructure development. They agreed to upgrade and operationalize the existing border points and develop the other border points to promote connectivity between the two countries. The Chinese side has agreed to give priority to the reopening of the Tatopani-Zhangmu border point, which has been disrupted after the April 25 earthquake.

The intergovernmental mechanisms have been tasked to advance negotiations on the proposals on free trade area, transit and Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) which were discussed during the meeting today.

China has expressed its willingness to seriously examine Nepal’s proposals for importation of petroleum products from China and has advised the respective companies of the two countries to jointly examine the matters relating to price, transportation and other logistics. As a friendly gesture, China will make available additional fuel to northern areas of Nepal bordering Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Chinese side informed that it would soon take up agreed projects for post-disaster reconstruction as per its pledged assistance during the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction. China has announced its willingness to support Nepal’s industrialization process through reconstruction. Hon. Mr. Thapa thanked the Government of China for extending generous support to Nepal’s socioeconomic development over the years. He also appreciated the spontaneous and prompt support received from China in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake of Nepal.

The two leaders discussed the ways for promoting people to people contact. In this context, the Chinese side informed that travel advisories issued in the context of earthquake in Nepal has been lifted with immediate effect and hoped the number of Chinese visitors would increase significantly in future. The Hon. Deputy Prime Minister reciprocated the friendly gesture of his Chinese counterpart by announcing that the Government of Nepal would waive visa fees for Chinese tourists.

…Mr. Lok Darshan Regmi, Finance Secretary of Nepal and Mr. Zhang Xiangchen, Vice Minister of Commerce of China signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation under which China would make available 900 million RMB as grant assistance for the implementation of the projects of repair and maintenance of Araniko Highway and other projects of interconnection and interworking. It may be recalled that this assistance was announced by the Chinese President during his meeting with his Nepalese counterpart in March 2015 in Boao, Hainan.

Nepal Army Senior Officers Corrupt: Indian Ambassador to American Officials

In a meeting with American officials on 11 March, 2006 in Kathmandu the then Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee had asserted that corruption in the then Royal Nepal Army (now Nepal Army) was high and the senior commanders were “content to acquire arms on the black or gray market” because that was profitable arrangement for them than the government to government deal. “Senior officers were enriching themselves with funds set aside for procurement,” Mukherjee told the US officials. “They had told the Chinese to up their invoices for small arms by 30 percent.” The Indian ambassador said that the situation in the RNA was bad in view of poor leadership, poor training and low morale. Even foreign countries provided up to ten times more ammunition than provided previously, the army would not be able to defeat the insurgency.  Mukherjee claimed that the corruption factor explained why the RNA leadership had not been overly concerned about India, the UK and the US cutting off arms shipments.

[Then Army Chief Pyar Jung Thapa had acknowledged an acute shortage of ammunition during his meeting with the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Donald Camp, in March 2006.]
– Phanindra Dahal

Here’s the full text of the US diplomatic cable: Continue reading Nepal Army Senior Officers Corrupt: Indian Ambassador to American Officials

Tracking the Indian Ambassador in Nepal: Jayant Prasad

Jayant Prasad Indian Ambassador in Nepal
The new Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Jayant Prasad, presented his letter of credentials to President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on 26 August.

Ambassadors are the most visible faces of Indian diplomacy in Nepal and they are not always thought to be pursuing diplomacy. Some, like the current ambassador Jayant Prasad’s immediate predecessor Rakesh Sood, was widely believed to be one of the worst examples of Indian intervention and failed diplomacy in Nepal. While in India (or in their Ministry of External Affairs) these people are normal employees, diplomats who don’t attract much attention unless they are involved in major scandal or become foreign secretary. But as soon as they land in Kathmandu with the coveted portfolio of the Indian ambassador for Nepal they become celebrities. Media extensively covers the Indian Ambassadors movements and decisions in Nepal and give high priority to anything that is related to an Indian envoy. That is largely because the Indian ambassadors “implement” the enormously influential Indian policy in Nepal- some by diplomatically and some by offensively interventionist ways.  Rarely in the world ambassadors get to hobnob with prime ministers and top leaders of a host country like the Indian ambassadors do with the Nepali leadership. Because of all these factors, we at UWB have decided to keep track of the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu as far as possible. Here are some headlines  that give enough idea about the arrival of the current ambassador and his activities in the first week since he assumed office in August 26.

Continue reading Tracking the Indian Ambassador in Nepal: Jayant Prasad

Baburam Bhattarai Wanted to Meet the US Ambassador’s Rep in 2003…

…thinking that the Ambassador himself may not meet him. How times of have changed! The American Ambassador has gone to meet him, most recently, two days ago Baburam became the Prime Minister. 

US diplomatic cables as revealed by Wikileaks. Report by John Narayan Parajuli

US officials saw Maoist Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai (who is not the Priem Minister of Nepal) as the party’s “most authoritative wordsmith,” and took serious note of both his aboveground appearance in 2003 and the missive he sent to the US embassy requesting a meeting the same year.

Bhattarai’s movement and remarks appeared to be closely monitored by the US embassy, especially after his arrival in the Capital on March 28, 2003 for talks with the Sher Bahadur Deuba government. This was the first time Bhattarai emerged in the Capital in full public view, since the beginning of the insurgency in 1996. Continue reading Baburam Bhattarai Wanted to Meet the US Ambassador’s Rep in 2003…

China’s Political and Economic missions in Nepal: Investment- Yes, Interference- No.

More Chinese investments in Nepal is very much welcome because this will help us become self-sustained and independent.

By Prithvi Man Shrestha

The Chinese private sector is looking at Nepal as an investment destination. This was the message Chinese businessmen tried to convey in the 11th meeting of Nepal-China Non-Government Cooperation Forum in Kathmandu on Thursday (16 Sept). With China’s financial muscle getting stronger, Nepal’s hydropower, tourism and agriculture sectors are on its investment radar. Their seriousness can be gauged by the fact that a high-level 40-member team came to Nepal to attend the forum. And most of them, according to Chinese ambassador to Nepal Qiu Guohong, are from reputed companies.

The business delegation led by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) first vice-chairman Quan Zhezhu, who is also a vice-minister, had entrepreneurs from established and renowned Chinese private companies in the areas of tourism, aviation, metallurgy, real estate, medicines and mechanical engineering. Addressing the inauguration session, Qiu set the tone by saying that the power shortage in Nepal is an important opportunity for Chinese companies to be involved in hydropower development in Nepal.

China’s interest on hydropower development was evident from the fact that the businesspersons told their Nepali counterparts that they wanted to invest in hydro projects ranging from 10 MW to 500 MW.

“This will pave the way for even the district-based small Nepali entrepreneurs to invest in a joint venture with the Chinese,” said Kush Kumar Joshi, president of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). The Chinese side also said they discussed hydropower, tourism and agriculture, among others, and expressed willingness to bring in investment in Nepal. “We will bring reputed Chinese companies here to explore the new investment avenues in Nepal,” said ACFIC first vice-chairman Quan. (Continued after the box)

Sept 14: A 47-member team of Chinese entrepreneurs, hydropower experts and power developers arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday (Sept 14) to attend a high-level conclave organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will inaugurate the three-day “brainstorming session,” which Nepal’s top bureaucrats, policy makers and entrepreneurs will attend. “Investment in Hydropower” will be the 11th initiative in the Nepal-China non-Governmental Cooperation series started in 1996 during the visit of then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to China. Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission Dr Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel, Foreign Secretary Madan Kumar Bhattarai, Energy Secretary Shanker Koirala and entrepreneurs from the Nepali hydro power sector will participate in the conclave. Nepal and India had orgainsed such a conclave for two consecutive years after Jana Andolan II in 2006, with Nepal Electricity Authority and Power Trading Corporation of India as the lead agencies.

During the three-day segment, entrepreneurs and experts from both sides will give their perspectives on Nepal’s policy and investment opportunities on hydropower, and more importantly, how China can help the hydro power sector in Nepal. Quan Zhezhu, vice-minister of the United Front Work of CPC Central Committee (UFW) and party secretary of All China Federation of Industries and Commerce (AFIC) will lead the Chinese delegation. epresentatives from Snap Power Company, Sino Hydro and Dtang Company are interested in investing in the hydro sector in Nepal, said a government official. Kumin and Xian provinces that have extensive experience in developing hydropower and grid extension are also in the Chinese delegation.

“China wants to engage its state owned companies in Nepal’s hydro power sector, utilizing its huge foreign currency reserve. This is a clear indication that China wants to extend its quick growth to Nepal to tap our hydro power potential,” a senior Foreign Ministry Official said. Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM), Gezhouba Company, the builder of Three Gorges Dam are also interested in investing in Nepal, said sources.

Currently, Sunkoshi (10MW) hydro project has been completed with Chinese grant assistance, while the northern neighbour has offered a soft loan for the Trishuli-3A (61MW) project. Chinese aid for Nalsyaugad (400MW) is under consideration, according to the Ministry of Energy. Continue reading China’s Political and Economic missions in Nepal: Investment- Yes, Interference- No.

Promoting Nepal in India

Despite being so close and sharing a border there is an unimaginably high level of misunderstanding about THE HIGHEST DEMOCRACY in THE LARGEST DEMOCRACY…Nepal should do something to promote itself among Indians.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

promoting nepal in india kathmandu post 8aug10
click to enlarge

Many Nepalis living out of Nepal face one common challenge: how to effectively tell foreigners about their country. Many in the world are completely unaware about Nepal which makes the job all the more difficult. The country of Mt. Everest, they have to tell. Another: It’s in Asia, sandwiched between India and China. Millions of Nepalis living in India don’t have to geographically pinpoint Nepal to Indians as they are aware about the location but that doesn’t make the task any easier. Despite being so close and sharing a border there is an unimaginably high level of misunderstanding about Nepal among Indians.

Some of those misunderstandings are based on rumours and hearsay (all Nepalis smoke pot) while others are created by the Indian mainstream media that is most of the times frighteningly immature and trivial when it comes to covering Nepal.

That doesn’t mean Nepalis have better understanding of India and Indians either. But the lack of understanding among Indians holds more weight because India is big and, more importantly, it plays important role in key Nepali affairs.

“Please don’t feel bad but what I have heard is,” one middle-aged Indian had told me some months ago, “Nepalis put fake Indian currency on their banks, come here in India and withdraw genuine currency from ATMs.” Astonishingly, his tone was serious. I had to explain about some aspects of Indo-Nepal relations for about 20 minutes before he finally said, “Yes, I also think it’s a ridiculous suggestion.”

It is Nepali students in India who mostly have to deal with Indians ignorant about Nepal and educate them. They are relatively best positioned to defend their country in arguments than other Nepalis who come to India and engage in various forms of employment—mostly non-skilled and lowly paid jobs. This class suffers through humiliation knowingly or unknowingly without an idea of how to educate co-workers or be proactive in disseminating information about Nepali society. For them humiliation comes as part of their jobs. Most importantly, they are neither articulate enough nor in a position to assert themselves and fight for their dignity through arguments.

For students it’s a different situation. They have hardly anything to lose.

Tens of thousands of Nepali students study in India—right across the country. They are more likely to meet educated and influential Indians (some with misinformation about Nepal) all over the country. That is why these students, not the diplomats, are the real ambassadors of the Himalayan republic in the world’s largest democracy.

Related links:
1. Face Value: Being a Nepali in India

Only a person with a flat nose and, I hate to use the word here but I must, “chinky” eyes, passes as a Nepali for many Indians…..Going by their reactions and comments, I have come to the conclusion that only those with Mongolian features are considered Nepali in India….I seriously try to explain to them the diverse nature of Nepali society that lives at different altitudes, eats varieties of foods, speaks many languages and sport different looks. Continue reading Promoting Nepal in India

India-Pakistan Talks: Nepali Viewpoint

Neighbours talk. Kathmandu Post.
Click to enlarge

By Dinesh Wagle

May be they should have installed a closed circuit TV camera inside the hall sending live feeds over the Web. That could have saved millions of people from confusion. No one knows for sure what exactly happened inside Hyderabad House, a New Delhi landmark, where foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan held talks on Thursday. After the talks held out of the media glare were over, the leaders of the delegations went to address the press separately to provide conflicting details of the talks. Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said the discussions were mainly focused on the issue of terrorism and briefly touched Kashmir while her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir stated the exact opposite. The same contrast was splashed all over the front pages of newspapers of both countries on Friday with Indian media persons blaming the Pakistani side for trying to score points over the talks and their Pakistani counterparts stating that no progress was made at the meeting as India “engaged in a game of doubletalk, saying one thing while meaning the other”.

Nothing different was expected, in fact, from both sides as we know they have very different concerns and priorities. While terrorism is an issue of the topmost importance to India, Pakistan can’t put Kashmir aside. India wants Hafiz Saeed, a man it thinks plotted and executed the Mumbai attack, to be arrested and tried in Pakistan. India said that it submitted three dossiers to Pakistan detailing anti-India activities of terrorists based in Pakistan. Maintaining that the talks shouldn’t be limited to the issue of terror, Pakistan, on the other hand, wanted to discuss India’s violations of the Indus Water Treaty that concerns sharing the water of six rivers that flow into Pakistan through India’s Jammu and Kashmir. Continue reading India-Pakistan Talks: Nepali Viewpoint

Maoists and Nepal-India Relations

Will they do it? A day after burning copies of some Nepal-India treaties they term unequal including the Sugauli Treaty, the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty and the Mahakali treaty in Kathmandu and other parts of the country the Maoists today said that they will take up the issue of border encroachment during their leaders meeting with visiting Indian foreign minister SM Krishna, who reached Kathmandu today on his first official visit to Nepal. During a meeting with Indian Minister Krishna scheduled for tomorrow, Maoist leaders including Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal will insist on scrapping the 1950 Peace and Friendship treaty between Nepal and India, resolving the encroachment of border problems, publicising secret treaties signed between the two nations and redefining the ties between the two countries on the basis of equality. “We will discuss by focusing mainly on four or five issues including the scrap of unequal treaties, border disputes, improve relations between the people of the two counties and review treaties in the interest of both the counties,” said Maoist Spokesperson Dinanath Sharma, talking to Radio Kantipur today.

Continue reading Maoists and Nepal-India Relations

New American in Nepal: Scott H. DeLisi

scott h delisi

Scott H. DeLisi has become the latest Internet celebrity. A Google search of the term “Scott H. DeLisi” displays 12,400 results as of 17/11 21:30 Nepal Standard Time. Now, remove “Nepal” from that result, (“Scott H DeLisi” -Nepal), the number drops to 5,950. [And 5,910 for “Scott H. DeLisi” +Nepal as of 23:25 NST, soon after this entry was posted online.] It is because his name has been associated with Nepal since this morning as the news started making rounds on the web that President Barack Obama intends to nominate Mr. DeLisi as American ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal [That’s the official name our country, Nepal, if you didn’t know that!].  A press release issued by the White House Press Secretary’s office today said: “Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:

·         Julie Brill, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

·         Edith Ramirez, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

·         Scott H. DeLisi, Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Department of State

·         Beatrice W. Welters, Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Department of State

·         Earl F. Gohl, Jr., Federal Co-Chair, Appalachian Regional Commission

That announcement has been widely reported by the Nepali and Indian media on their web outlets (Print versions, mostly in Nepal and on Front pages, will come tomorrow). Two foreigners become celebrity, instantly, in Nepal the moment their names are announced as the ambassadors to Nepal by their respective countries: America and India. They are treated somewhat differently (and sometime as the two sides of a coin by some) in Nepal. American is perceived as, let’s put it this way, “the ceremonial head of state with limited executive power” where as the Indian “executive head of state with unlimited executive power”. Both of these perceptions are ONLY partly true. But true nevertheless. Both of the ambassadors’ words, body languages and intentions (expressed or otherwise) are closely watched, scrutinized and analyzed in the vibrant Nepali media and chaotic political circus. As Nepali polity is further polarized primarily because of selfish leaders who are engaged in endless fighting (that is exploited or sometime created by our friendly neighbor), it can be said that Nepal will only be more dependent on foreign “advices” and be subjected to outside interventions in the days to come. Sad but true. Continue reading New American in Nepal: Scott H. DeLisi

Undiplomatic Diplomats: Primitive Foreign Ambassadors in Nepal

Traditionally, ambassadors bridge cultural and economic gaps, strengthen ties with the country they represent and shun making any kind of political comments in public. The basic job of ambassadors is to get their government’s message across. All diplomats should respect the integrity and sovereignty of the country where they are posted. They must possess the ability to comment on negative situations in a tactful manner, to refrain from speaking negatively in public about anyone or anything, and to draw discreet attention to something that is considered wrong or to highlight it through anecdotes. Continue reading Undiplomatic Diplomats: Primitive Foreign Ambassadors in Nepal