While Chinese assistance for the development of Nepal is important, the Nepali leadership would do well to take advantage of the rapport established during the visit of President Xi to genuinely understand the remarkable growth and transformation of China over the past 70 years since the establishment of the People’s Republic.
Read also: What China wants, Editorial
China’s rise is founded on self-reliance which Nepal should learn from and strive to emulate. One of the points that should have been given greater emphasis by the Nepali leadership during meetings with President Xi and his delegation is that Nepal is still a predominately agriculture-based economy, and how this might this be linked with the Belt and Road Initiative.
There are possibilities for Nepal to not just learn and borrow from China’s experience with agricultural modernisation drive, but also request for blanket duty-free access for Nepalese agro-produce in the Chinese market. A potential consumer base of 300 million people in China would create conditions for an agricultural revolution in Nepal and open up huge job opportunities that can lay the foundation for self-sufficiency. Nepal needs to hone in on the nuts and bolts of this possibility and discuss with China the finer points of appropriate customs and quarantine infrastructure along the Sino-Nepal border.
Nepal now has to balance not just India and China, but also the west, Bhairaja Panday
Yam between three boulders, Editorial