Growing Nepal-China security cooperation and its ramifications for India

Wolf, Siegfried O.

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Due to its geostrategic location, Nepal is extraordinarily exposed to external influence. As a small, land-locked country positioned between two major Asian powers, India and China, the country is permanently an object of regional ambitions and rivalries. Safeguarding its national security and independence, Nepal’s foreign policy has centred on the not always reconcilable task of maintaining friendly relations with both sides. Therefore, Nepal’s current attempt to follow a policy of non-alignment (Xavier, 2017), and to keep foreign influence at bay is nothing new. However, this article argues that Kathmandu’s ongoing efforts in maintaining control in political decision-making through an increased cooperation with Beijing possesses severe risks for Nepal’s national interests. In view of the challenging process of its democratic transition, weak institutional structure, and unhealthy civil-military relations, China has a multitude of opportunities to gain crucial leverage within Nepal’s political-administrative structure. Furthermore, Nepal-China cooperation, especially in the field of defence and security, determines a severe issue for Kathmandu’s relation with India. In sum, China’s growing engagement in Nepal has remarkable security implications for New Delhi since it determines an intrusion in India’s sphere of influence.

Document type: Article
Publisher: South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF)
Place of Publication: Brussels
Date: 2018
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 11:54
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Political science
Military science
Geography and travel
Controlled Keywords: Nepal, Indien, China, Außenpolitik, Außenbeziehungen, Sicherheitspolitik
Uncontrolled Keywords: China, Indien, Nepal, Sicherheit, Außenpolitik, Kommunisten, zivil-militärische Beziehungen, Wahlen / China, India, Nepal, security, foreign policy, communists, civil-military relations, elections
Subject (classification): Politics
Countries/Regions: China
Series: Themen > SADF Focus
Volume: 35