Foreign policy is considered to be the one that is aimed to protect the national interest of a country through strategies that further helps in the achievement of international relationships. The approaches which are highlighted in the foreign policy of a country help that country in taking key decisions which affects its relationship with the other nations of the world and thus act strategically. The importance of foreign policy can be understood by the fact that it helps in the determination of the state of relationship that exists between two countries and the way in which it provides a country with guidelines to negotiate through the diplomats (Kissinger, 2019).
The foreign policy in this respect can have a direct impact upon the state of future of a country where it should not just protect the interest of its own country but at the same time should not be too aggressive that it leads to a situation of an armed conflict between the countries. One such country is Nepal which is located in the Asian continent and shares its boundaries with countries such as India and China. The nation has been considered as an underdeveloped country that depends upon other nations for trade and investment. This ensures the stability of the economy and the development of opportunities for the local activities of economic nature (Smith et al., 2016).
The aim of the essay is to highlight the Nepal and India relations while considering the key merits and demerits. The following paragraphs of the essay will provide a discussion on China and the Nepal relations and further highlight the merits and the demerits of the association with China. Along with this, it will also highlight the relationship of Nepal with India and also illustrated the merits and the demerits of their relations. The essay will then present the reasons that India should consider to support or not to support the China and Nepal relationship. Lastly, the essay will highlight the possible solutions to the dilemma that Nepal would face.
In the month of July 1950, both India and Nepal signed a treaty where both the nations agreed that they would protect the sovereignty of one another if they face any threat to the territorial sovereignty of any of the country. India which is much more vast as compared to Nepal along with the fact that the military power and strength of India is far better than that of Nepal, there are more chances that India would act as the protector for Nepal (Kissinger, 2019). The treaty was signed between the two nations further provided the free movement of goods and services between the two nations. Along with this, there was a free movement of people between the nations which further lead to close and strong relations between the two nations on the matter concerning foreign policy and the defence.
The analysis of the relations that exist between India and Nepal helps in the understanding of some of the key aspects. The treaty that was entered in the year 1950 makes it obligatory between the two countries to inform each other about any kind of misunderstanding and friction that would have a negative impact on the two governments. In the past, the nations have held close religious, marital, linguistic and cultural ties. In recent years specifically since late 2015, there have been some of the key disputes across borders along with the political issues. This has lead to the growth of the anti-Indian sentiments among the government as well as the people who are living in Nepal. The Kalapani and Susta dispute is one of the border conflicts that both nations have been facing with each other.
The good relationship of Nepal with India will also help Nepal in gaining development aids from India. The economic cooperation that was started between the two nations in the year 1951 has resulted in numerous kinds of aids to Nepal from India in the area of technology and finance. In addition to this, there have been a good trade and investment relations between the two nations. In this respect, India is considered to be the largest partner to Nepal when it comes to trade along with a key source of foreign direct investment in Nepal. Almost 100 % of the petroleum supplies in Nepal are provided by India. The good relations between the two nations would also be an indicator of more and more number of companies extending their operations to Nepal and ensuring economic growth and development of the country.
Along with this, another merit of good relations between India and Nepal is the contribution of India to Nepal in the sector of education. The government of India currently offers an estimated of more than 3000 seats per year to the nationals of Nepal for a number of courses that cover bachelors, Ph.D., plus two-level and also masters. All these can be considered as some of the merits of having a close and strong relationship between India and Nepal.
On the other, the two nations have been trading with each other for some of the key products. In this respect, India covers more than 2/3 of the merchandise trade in Nepal and 1/3 of the trade in the nation for the services. The India Nepal relation has some merits as well as demerits. One of the merits is that good relation that Nepal holds with India would provide the nation with military protection since India has far more stringer military forces as compared to Nepal. Along with this, a good relationship can also help Nepal in securing good trade relations with India that would provide Nepal with scope to offer its products in Indian markets. A good relationship will also boost foreign investment made by India in Nepal that would further provide Nepal with economic growth.
On the other hand, Nepal and India relations have some demerits as well. The relation will make Nepal dependent upon India for its military security along with the dependence upon India for exports and imports. In recent times, India has declared a new constitution in the year 2015 that has led to a trade embargo with Nepal from its side. This has created negative sentiments among the people of Nepal towards India. The demerit of relations is that India does not respect the sovereignty of Nepal and thus this may have an impact upon the business dealing and independence. The undeclared blockage as imposed by the Indian government has further led to the violation of the transit rights and the trade with Nepal. The close and strong relations between the two countries will shift the traditional leverage in Nepal in the hands of India. The growing anti-India sentiments among the people of Nepal can be a demerit linked to the relations between the two countries (Alden& Aran, 2016).
China, a country that is located in the East with the highest population in the world is another neighbouring country of Nepal. In the year 1960, the countries entered into Sino Nepal Treaty with aimed to promote the bilateral relation between China and Nepal. The treaty leads to the resolution of all the border disputes that existed between the two nations. In recent year, China has been aiming to enter into SAARC while Nepal has always been supporting China to be a member of the group. China is currently considered to be the largest source of foreign direct investment in Nepal. Furthermore, there is a high number of Nepalese working in China including Hong Kong (Barnett& Barnett, 2019). In the year 2016, further Nepal and China have entered into a treaty where the treaty has offered Nepal access to make use of the seaport facility of China. Along with this, the treaty also aimed to explore the chances of signing a free trade agreement. Along with this, the treaty also gives China access to explore oil and gas reserves that exist in Nepal and further extend the exchange and cooperation of information on the regulations of banking (Zhao, 2016).
Along with this, both countries have been actively working on the promotion of transportation between the two countries. China has undertaken the construction of a 770 km long railway connection that could connect with Nepal. Nepal has further requested the extension of the railway network that would further boost the tourism and trade between the two countries. In the year 2018, the government of China has granted Nepal with access to the ports of some areas. The access to the ports of China by Nepal has further decreased the dependence of Nepal on India that has been highlighted in the Nepal blockade in the year 2015.
Nepal and China Relations has some of the key merits of Nepal. The strong relationship between the two countries ensures assistance for the development of Nepal. China which is considered to be one of the major donor nations for Nepal had signed an agreement that covered the aspect of economic aid to the nation. This way it would directly assist Nepal in adding to its economic growth (Sanders& Houghton, 2016).
Along with this, the strong relations between the two countries would provide Nepal with technical and financial help in some of the major areas such as health, education, industrial development, transportation, infrastructural development and also the development of hydropower. In addition to this, the major projects that have been signed between the two nations such as the Prithvi Highway, Banbari Leather and Shoes Factory, Pokhara Baglung Road, Arniko Highway along with many others are some of the major projects that are taking place with the assistance of China in Nepal and are considered to provide a boost to the economy of Nepal (Su, 2017).
Not only this, but the relation also has a positive impact upon trade and investment where China is considered to be the second-largest trading partner for Nepal with high volume and the number of exports to China made by Nepal. China being the largest source of foreign direct investment for Nepal is another important aspect that aims to promote and strengthen the relations between China and Nepal (Orenstein & Kelemen, 2017). The list of benefits also covers the boost to tourism as offered by China where China is considered to be the second-largest source of tourism from a foreign nation in Nepal.
Along with this, there are some demerits of good relations of Nepal with China. China is emerging as a new superpower. This is specific in the current scenario of coronavirus that is further giving it an edge over the other nations of the world. China would, therefore, be in a position to bully the small countries that are into trade with it and are further dependent upon China for a lot of investment and economic development. In addition to this, China is being regarded as a source of coronavirus. This has led to the hatred of millions of people and countries across the world towards China and also any other nation who supports the country. In this respect, the close relations between Nepal and China might impact the relations and trade hat Nepal has with the other nations of the world. This will further make it more dependent upon China for trade and investment that can be dangerous in the near future (Schumacher& Bouris, 2017).
India that shares the boundary with Nepal has a role to be played in the relationship that exists between Nepal and China. The support of India can have a direct impact on shaping up the relationship. As a matter of fact, India should not support the Nepal and China relationship as it would have an impact upon the position and the share that India has in diverse sectors and areas In Nepal. India which is currently considered to hold a major share in the foreign investment made in Nepal might lose the share (Mintz, 2016).
This is because of the strong relationship between Nepal and China will give rise to a number of opportunities where China would be able to invest in Nepal and further enjoy more power than before. Another reason because of which India should not support the relations between Nepal and China is due to the strong strategic relationship that China has with one of the biggest enemies of India for many years. The relationship that China holds with Pakistan and further the relations that India holds with Pakistan, gives India a reason to not provide any support in the development and further strengthening of the relations between Nepal and China (Dittmer, 2017).
Another reason because of which India should not support the relations between China and Nepal is due to the rising level of competition in India from the side of China. China has been developing itself with new and innovative products. This has given a direct competition to India where the products and services in China are cheap and provide better utilization and value at the same time. This way the promotion of relations between China and Nepal might become another threat to the competitive landscape of India. Along with this, there are several geopolitical complexities that exist between China and India (Orenstein& Kelemen, 2017). This way the strengthening of the relationship between China and Nepal will lead to a loss of the power and the influence that India has within the internal issues and decision making in Nepal.
At the same time, the development of relations between China and Nepal will also make China in a position to influence the foreign policies and activities undertaken by the government of Nepal with India. The poor relationship that exists between China and India specifically in the past few years and following the strategic alliances of Pakistan with China can be a major threat if in case Nepal tries to further take its relation with China to the next stage. India will thus lose a lot if the relation between Nepal and China further improves (Bialer, 2019). This is more important due to the changes in the constitution in the year 2015 by India that has led to the development of anti-India sentiments among the government and the people of Nepal.
Nepal is therefore in a dilemma where on one side it has an option to improve and promote its relation with India. On the other hand, it has the option to promote the relation that it has with China and gain from the strategic partnership between the two nations. There is a solution to the dilemma as faced by Nepal while promoting the relationship with two of the biggest contributors to its economic growth and development (Hinnebusch, 2019). Nepal should first of all build mutual trust with India. To ensure this, Nepal has to communicate with India and solve a number of issues and problems that it has been facing post the changes made in the constitution of India in the year 2015. Furthermore, it is also important that Nepal wins back confidence in India to promote better trade and investment from the side of India.
Nepal should also work to promote the triangular relationships between Nepal, India and China for the betterment of the economies of all the nations and further boost the trade and investment that these countries undertake in Nepal and also contribute towards its development in a number of areas. Nepal should also aim to build a relationship with both China and India that would be based on the aspects of prosperity, integrity and regional peace. The relationship that exists between Nepal and China, as well as Nepal and India, are based upon the multitude of linkage including that based upon religion, geopolitical, social, cultural and economic affairs (Chen et al., 2017).
It is crucial for Nepal to ensure that it works on a balance to gain support from both its neighbouring countries for internal development and growth as an economy in itself. This is more crucial as Nepal is a landlocked country and looks for supports from nations with whom it shares its boundaries and especially the ones who have to ensure economical development and growth in their own nations.
From the above discussion and explanation, it can be concluded that Foreign policy protects the national interest of a country through strategies that further helps in the achievement of international relationships. The approaches that have been mentioned in the foreign policy of a country facilitate taking key decisions that impact its relationship with the other nations of the world and these approaches acts in a strategic manner. The importance of foreign policy can be understood by the fact that it helps in the determination of the state of relationship that exists between two countries and the way in which it provides a country with guidelines to negotiate through the diplomats. The essay has highlighted the case of Nepal's relationship with India and that of China.
The above paragraphs of the essay have highlighted that aspect of the relationship between India and Nepal along with which it has also presented the merits as well as demerits of the close and strong relationship that exists between the two countries. In addition to this, the essay has also provided a discussion on China and the Nepal relations and further highlights the merits and the demerits of the association with China. The essay has also presented the reasons that India should consider to support or not to support the China and Nepal relationship.
The essay has further illustrated the reasons because of which India should support the relations that exist between China and Nepal, as it will bring a loss of power and the influence that India has in Nepal and its development. Lastly, the essay has also highlighted the possible solutions to the dilemma that Nepal would face. It is recommended that Nepal should work to promote the triangular relationship that exists between Nepal, India and China. This will help Nepal in boosting the flow of trade and investment in the country from both India and China.
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