Nepal is all set to hold its first-ever military exercise with China on 10 February 2017. The decision to initiate this new level of bilateral engagement was taken during Nepal’s Army Chief General Rajendra Chhetri’s visit to Beijing in March 2016.
The military exercise called Pratikar-1 will focus on training Nepali forces in dealing with extreme situations like hostage situation involving international militant groups. This will make Kathmandu more prepared in dealing with terror attacks like the one that happened in Dhaka’s Holey Artisan bakery in July 2016, causing the death of numerous innocent civilians.
Nepal has conducted similar military drills with India as well.
Though this new relationship between Nepal and China does not violate the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, it does not stand well for India either due to its strained relationship with the latter.
India- China Disputes
• The region of Tibet has played a huge role in straining the relationship between the two nations:
- India’s move of providing a safe haven to Tibetan leader Dalai Lama invited a lot of flak from the Chinese government, leading to the Sino-Indian war of 1962. Lama was allowed to be in India on a condition that he will not be involved in any political activity.
• Apart from this, the two nations share a very sensitive border relation:
- One major area of dispute is the Aksai Chin region in Ladakh. At present, Aksai Chin is under the administration of China.
• China’s growing closeness with Pakistan is another issue of contention for India.
Despite the ongoing tensions, both the nations have successfully developed good trade relations and also extended their strategic and military relations.
Initially, Nepal too shared a strained relationship with China over the Tibet issue. However, their relationship has improved significantly over the years. In March this year, both the nations signed a transit trade treaty and very recently on 9 December 2016, China launched a new cargo service connecting Tibet and Nepal.