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China to donate more fuel

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
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Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Thapa talks to journalists in Kathmandu airport on Tuesday. Photo: RSS

China has once again promised to donate fuel worth RMB 10 million to Nepal, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Thapa.

Upon his arrival in Kathmandu on Tuesday after a week-long China visit, Thapa told journalists: “Apart from this fuel support for our immediate relief, we have also reached an understanding to prepare a framework for long-term trade.”

This is the second time in the four months of the Indian blockade that China has expressed its willingness to donate petrol to fuel-strapped Nepal.

In October, China had supplied 10,000 tonnes of petrol to Nepal via Kerung to ease fuel crisis created by India’s blockade.

Even as China and other countries welcomed Nepal’s new constitution promulgated on 20 September, India merely ‘noted’ it and hinted at imposing a blockade against the land-locked Himalayan country. A day after the constitution was passed, India said: ‘our freight companies and transporters have also voiced complaints about the difficulties they are facing in movement within Nepal and their security concerns, due to the prevailing unrest.’

After India’s statement, Madhesi parties held an emergency meeting and decided on 23 September to stage sit-in protests all Nepal-India border posts. Sit-in protests were effective only at Birganj and few other places, but India cut off supply of fuel and other essential commodities through all check-points.

China has stepped forward to help Nepal at a time when the Indian blockade is leading to a humanitarian crisis in a country that was devastated by a deadly earthquake just eight months ago.

At a press conference in Beijing this week, Thapa said Nepal shares ‘special relations’ with China – a term that was always used in the past to describe Nepal-India ties.

Political analysts believe what Thapa said in Beijing was definitely not a slip of tongue and it is a clear indication that India’s blockade is pushing Nepal into the arms of China.

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One Response to “China to donate more fuel”

  1. dgupta on Says:

    China is a true friend in need who doesn’t force conditions on us

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