Nepal has decided to play the China card against New Delhi when the land locked
nation secured the Chinese clearance to use four of their ports to carry goods
to Kathmandu. The decision marks the end of monopoly position for India with
regard to border trade with Nepal.
the bad shape of the roads in Nepal, the distances ranging around three
thousand kilometers of road journey from Chinese ports for the cargo to reach
Kathmandu, the trade is not enthusiastic about the decision.
is sandwiched between China and India, for the supply of essential goods including
fuel and the use of its ports for trade with other countries. Kathmandu has sought access to Chinese ports
to reduce dependence on India since a prolonged blockade of its
border crossings with India in 2015 and 2016 left the country
short of fuel and medicine for several months.
from Nepal and China finalized the protocol of Transit and Transport Agreement
(TTA) during a meeting in Kathmandu on September seventh giving Nepal access to
the Chinese ports at Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang, a statement
from Nepal's commerce ministry said. It said China had also agreed to allow
Nepal use its dry (land) ports at Lanzhou, Lhasa and Xigatse as well as roads
to these facilities according to reports in Nepalese media..
arrangement will come into effect when the protocol is signed, an official said
without giving a date. "This is one of the milestones because we are getting access to
four Chinese ports in addition to two ports in India, A spokesman of the
Nepalese government said. He said Nepali cargo from Japan, South Korea and
other north Asian countries could be routed through China which would cut
shipping time and costs. Overland trade is now routed mainly through the port
of Kolkata which takes up to three months, officials said. Delhi has also
opened the port at Vishakhapatnam for Nepalese trade.
say the plan to connect the country with China could face issues due to a lack
of proper roads and customs infrastructure on the Nepalese side of the border.
The nearest Chinese port is also located more than 2,600km from its border.
Nepal must develop proper infrastructure for smooth access to Chinese ports.
Without this simply opening of ports will not be useful," said an
exporter. China is making fast inroads into Nepal with aid and investment,
challenging India's long-held position as the dominant outside power.