27Nov2022

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Tag: Nepal-India Affairs

OP-EDs and Columns

Implications of India’s Agnipath Scheme for Recruitment of Soldiers for Nepal’s Gurkhas

SANTOSH Sharma Poudel

The column originally appeared in The Diplomat on 14 September 2022. Please read the original article here.

On June 14, India announced the Agnipath Scheme, a new model for recruitment into the Indian military. Under the scheme around 46,000 youth between 17.5 and 21 years of age will be recruited for service for a period of four years. A quarter of these recruits will be retained at the end of this period, while the rest will receive a severance package of approximately $15,000 and return to civilian life.

The goal of the Agnipath scheme is to make the Indian military “leaner, fitter and more youthful.” It is expected to cut ballooning salary payments and pension costs, which could be used to modernize the military. Despite countrywide protests India has moved ahead to recruit under the new scheme.

Upon announcing the scheme, the Indian Army wrote to Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seeking approval to recruit Nepali nationals under the new plan. India’s Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that there would be no exception for Nepali Gurkhas.

Recruitment under the Agnipath scheme was to start on August 25 in Butwal and September 1 in Dharan in Nepal. However, the Nepali government halted recruitment.

Impressed by the valor displayed by Nepali Gurkha soldiers in the Anglo-Nepal War, the British East India Company started recruiting Nepali soldiers into a Gurkha regiment in 1815. Upon Indian independence, India, Nepal, and the British government signed a tripartite agreement whereby India would continue to recruit Gurkhas from Nepal.

Under the agreement, the countries would form exclusive Gurkha regiments, and recruits will be eligible for pensions. Currently, 34,000 Nepalis serve in the Indian Army, and 122,000 pensioners reside in Nepal. Cumulatively, they bring in $620 million (compared to Nepal’s defense budget of $420 million).

The recruitment of Nepali nationals in the Indian Army (and the British Army) is a contentious issue in Nepal. Some are opposed to it. Stopping the recruitment of Nepali soldiers in foreign militaries was one of the 40 demands raised by the Nepali Maoists when they started their 10-year armed insurgency. Even as recently as 2020, the Nepali government under Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli termed the 1947 tripartite agreement “redundant” and officially proposed its review, which the U.K. government declined.

Nepali nationals are raising several questions relating to the Agnipath scheme.

First, the scheme sidesteps the 1947 tripartite agreement. Although New Delhi has not rescinded the agreement per se it has been consistently stretching its understanding of the pact’s terms. The agreement provided a separate regiment of Nepali soldiers in the Indian Army and made provision for pensions. However, over time the Gurkha regiments in the Indian Army comprise fewer Nepali. They are now 60 percent Nepali, while the rest are ethnic Nepalis from various parts of India. The Agnipath scheme erases the pretense of a distinct Gurkha regiment, as all recruits will be Agniveers. The Agnipath scheme has direct bearing on Nepal and Nepali recruits. Yet India hardly consulted the Nepali government while devising the plan. It only sought Nepal’s approval after it had announced the scheme.

New Delhi often touts its “neighborhood first” policy. But it is increasingly taking Nepal for granted.

Second, retired and aspiring Gurkha soldiers in Nepal have criticized the short-term of the service under the Angipath scheme. For a long time, recruitment in the British or Indian Army was seen in Nepal as an economically secure job with high social status. Agnipath’s terms neither provide a long-term job nor financial security. Indian Agniveers will have priority access to jobs in government and elsewhere after four years. The Nepali government is unlikely to be able to provide such preference. On the contrary, “retired” Agniveers may not be able to join some government services or security forces because of their age upon completing four years of service.

Third, there are lingering concerns about rehabilitating the young “retirees” (who will be 22-23 years) into society. It will be a highly-trained and energetic cohort, potentially struggling to find a job or pay in Nepal. Therefore, there are risks of some of them joining armed groups operating in Nepal. After the Maoist insurgency was over, Nepal struggled to integrate the Maoist guerillas into society.

In addition, some foreign countries could take advantage of the trained forces for covert activities within Nepal. It could embroil Nepal further into the geostrategic nightmare, which could spiral out of control.

Gurkhas have a proud tradition of serving bravely and loyally in the Indian Army. The military of the two countries shares a close bond. As a result, the Chief of the Indian Army is accorded the status of an honorary chief in the Nepali Army and vice versa. Gurkha soldiers are a vital component of this special relationship.

In this context, many expected Nepal and India to have frank discussions on the issue and reach an agreement during the five-day visit of Indian Army General Manoj Pande earlier this month. However, the issue made no headway during his visit. Pande did not raise the matter during his meeting with Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. Deuba’s foreign adviser Arun Subdei said Nepal is engaging India at diplomatic and political levels on the issue.

Going forward, Nepal has three options.

Firstly, it could argue that the relevance of the tripartite agreement is over and hence, seek a new form of negotiation with India at the bilateral level and halt the recruitment until a deal is reached. Secondly, it could approve recruitment under the Agnipath scheme. Finally, it could permanently stop all forms of recruitment of Nepalis into foreign militaries.

There is a need for extensive consultation within parties and across parties regarding these options. There are differing views even within parties, let alone the ruling coalition. Therefore, Nepal needs an extensive national debate on the conditions under which Nepal should allow its nationals to be recruited into a foreign military, if at all.

This affects the long-term security of Nepal and Indo-Nepal relations, and Kathmandu should not rush to a decision. With elections due in two months, the current government is unlikely to decide one way or the other. But the onus will likely be on the current top leadership even after the election.

The Explainer - NIPoRe Blog

Humanitarian Response from India during Nepal’s Earthquake 2015

SAMJHANA Karki

The devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015, with a magnitude of 7.6 Richter Scale and hundreds of aftershocks, caused a significant impact on the lives of over eight million people across Nepal. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment, 2015, published by the National Planning Commission, reported more than 8,000 deaths and property damage worth approximately USD 7 billion.

Nepal ranks 11th globally in terms of vulnerability to earthquakes. As soon as the news of the Nepal Earthquake broke, there was overwhelming commitment and subsequent support from the neighbouring countries, and India was the first to respond. It was reported that the then Nepali Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who was in Bangkok, knew of the earthquake through the Indian Prime Minister’s tweet. India dispatched relief materials and rescue teams immediately.

The Indian government initiated Operation Maitri and launched a humanitarian mission, dispatched National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and special aircraft with rescue and relief materials in Nepal. India released INR 96 crores (around 154 crore Nepali rupees) to Nepal for housing and school sector assistance. Under the post-earthquake reconstruction package, India allocated a grant of USD 250 million, including USD 50 million each for the education, cultural heritage, and health sector and USD 100 million for the housing sector.

When a crisis occurs, Nepal looks up to India. India, our closest neighbor, has always helped Nepal in the difficult hours. During this crisis, India provided immediate responses and timely decision-making. Furthermore, a swift emergency response was possible because of connected borders, friendly ties and institutional relations between the two nations. Close bilateral relations, including fraternal relations between the two countries’ militaries, provided the basis for swift support.

India experienced some hiccups during the support. Despite widespread help, Indian media faced a backlash for their insensitive reporting, which made the hashtag #GoHomeIndianMedia trend on Twitter. 

The India-imposed economic blockade towards the end of the year escalated the humanitarian crisis, though. Moreover, the blockade un-did the goodwill India had garnered from the support. It has left a long-lasting anti-India sentiment among the general populace. 

Disaster response is an additional dimension in Nepal-India relations. Other disasters such as floods affect both countries. They have established common mechanisms to deal with such issues, but their workings are unsatisfactory. It would benefit both countries to strengthen disaster cooperation, for it is less prone to conflict and garners goodwill for each other.

BlogThe Explainer - NIPoRe Blog

Reflecting on Nepal-India Flood Risk Management Cooperation

JURIA SATO Bajracharya

Domestic efforts and existing bilateral treaties

Some notable initiatives are underway in Nepal. The Disaster Risk Reduction National Strategic Action Plan (2018-2030) proposes priority actions in the short-term (2018-2020), medium-term (2020-2025), and long-term (2025-2030), assigning responsibilities within federal, provincial, and local governments. In 2019, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority was also established to coordinate, facilitate, and implement disaster risk reduction and management-related functions. Additionally, the Government of Nepal has developed an integrated and comprehensive one-stop Disaster Information Management System known as the Building Information Platform Against Disaster (BIPAD) portal, which is currently being localized.

On the bilateral front, while there have been several broad engagements around river management between Nepal and India, these have been limited. The two countries have often resorted to blaming one another for their shortcomings. There are different mechanisms to deal with flooding [for e.g. the secretary-level Joint Commission on Water Resources (JCWR), the Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS) that deals with trans-boundary water issues, and the Joint Committee on Inundation and Flood Management (JCIFM)]. Sadly, these engagements have remained relatively passive. For instance, flood forecasting, which includes the planning and implementation of the Flood Forecasting Master Plan, was discussed consecutively in the JCIFM between 2014-2017, but this was left off the agenda in the 12th JCIFM in 2018. Similarly, the JCWR meetings are to be held once in six months, yet only seven meetings have taken place since its establishment in 2000. Dynamic and iterative engagement is key to addressing this issue, but cooperation on both ends has stalled over the years.

At the regional level, the SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC), a dedicated body for disaster risk management, was established to build the capacities of South Asian nations and implement the Comprehensive Framework on Disaster Management for South Asia. In its power, the SDMC has developed regional guidelines, built a collective emergency response mechanism, and conducted several technical training sessions. However, the volume of such initiatives has decelerated over the past years. Despite having elements of an effective structure in place, emergency responses at the SAARC level have not been deployed in the wake of the multiple calamities in the region. As such, it has not been able to sustain a robust disaster management framework in ways that would enable member countries to build their national capacities and respond through concerted coordination. 

Shifting approach beyond the blame game

India and Nepal have long accused each other of the trans-border floods. Amidst the pandemic in 2020, the state government of Bihar blamed Nepal for obstructing flood preparedness activities. Nepal, on its part, has raised growing concerns over how Indian infrastructure and development activities along the Koshi and Gandaki rivers and along the border have hindered the natural flow of water. Progress is also compounded by the issue’s complex geographical and political nature and discontent among vested interest groups. Highlighting India’s hegemonic status in past water treaties with Nepal, many scholars have argued that treaties like the Koshi agreement (1954) and the Gandak agreement (1959) have deprived Nepal of its fair share of benefits. Decades have passed since these agreements, and any further passive leadership might impede timely action for collective and coordinated flood risk management efforts.

As we mark the 75th year of Nepal-India bilateral ties, leveraging this moment to gear focus towards the protection of lives and livelihood of the hardest hit climate-vulnerable communities – particularly in Bihar and Terai region – is crucial. Such cooperation will help further the bilateral relations and directly impact the lives and livelihood of people on both sides of the border. Formal government-to-government cooperation mechanisms for flood risk management efforts have been in place for decades with limited focus. Civil society actors, non-government organizations, and the private sector could play an increasingly important role in shifting the current narratives of transboundary disaster management negotiations. In the region, initiatives such as the Bangladesh-India Sundarbans Region Cooperative Initiative (BISRCI) have been helping the two governments manage the Sundarbans sustainably since 2011. In Nepal, the Koshi Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Hub (KDKH) is working to foster transboundary collaboration on disaster risk reduction and strengthen science, policy, and interlinkages. It has convened dialogue annually since its inception in 2018, bringing together researchers and policymakers to explore ways of collaboration. These initiatives play an important role as enablers in fostering bilateral dialogues and should be leveraged in furthering regional cooperation.

With climate change exacerbating extreme flood events every year, cooperation in disaster risk management will be increasingly critical to better Nepal-India relations. Climate contexts in both India and Nepal are characterized by the uncertainty of monsoon rain patterns, risks of melting Himalayan glaciers, and vulnerable low-lying coastal cities. Furthermore, losses from climate change in GDP per capita for both Nepal and India are projected to be higher than the global average of ~7 percent, with Nepal facing a potential loss of 13 percent and India ten percent in 2100.

Flooding during the monsoon season is a natural phenomenon. Nepal’s Terai region of Nepal and Eastern India face growing hazards from glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) and bishyari floods, a type of flood that occurs due to the breaking of dams caused by landslides falling directly into rivers. Many rivers originate in the Himalayas and flow to the Bay of Bengal. Koshi, Gandaki, and Karnali rivers – the three largest river basins in Nepal – enter India through Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the most populous states in India. Given the number of lakes at risk of bursting across these basins, the strong upstream-downstream flood linkages, the changing patterns of extreme precipitation events, and the cascading impacts on lives and livelihoods, cooperation in disaster risk reduction and management cannot be overlooked.

Vulnerability to flooding Despite increasing risks of devastating flood impacts annually, the momentum around cooperation tends to surface only during the monsoon season when more priority should ideally be directed towards rescue and rehabilitation. Nepal has already witnessed multiple damaging floods over the past decade – notably the Koshi flood of August 2008, one of the most disastrous floods affecting 3.5 million people across both countries. The tragedy exposed the inadequacy of current flood management systems and warned of the changing climate patterns. In recent years, Nepal has witnessed unseasonal heavy rains shortly after the monsoon in October 2021, a month that is crucial for agricultural harvests. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development estimated a loss of NPR 8.26 billion worth of paddy crops across all seven provinces only due to the unseasonal rain and flooding. Recent flooding patterns and climate change in the region indicate flooding is no longer a seasonal concern.

This series of Nepal-India relations blog posts are published on the auspicious occasion of India’s 75th Independence Celebration.

SAB Blog

SAB Blog – India

Domestic Updates

In late May, India announced a ban on wheat exports. New Delhi intended to secure the supplies for the nation amidst rampant inflation and a disrupted global supply chain caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. India accounts for just one percent of global exports and thus has only a regional impact. India banned the exports of sugar earlier. It has not yet banned rice exports and is considering exporting wheat to select regional nations.

India continues to face a slow but steady ‘fourth wave’ of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, with new cases climbing fast. The country counted over 4,000 new cases for the first time in the last three months. Amid the domestic crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, India has earmarked USD 26 billion to curb rising prices and record inflation.

Regional Engagement

India has extended financial aid assistance to economically-decrepit Sri Lanka by deferring loans worth USD 1 billion. In addition, India sent energy supplies (diesel) to Sri Lanka. The economic downturn of the latter has led to political and social crises. As a result, Colombo lacked essentials such as food, fuel, and medicines in May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha in Nepal. Modi offered prayers at the sacred Maya Devi temple on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. India views Nepal from the prism of being within its geostrategic ambit and desires to reduce Chinese influence in Kathmandu.

India appointed ambassadors to Nepal and Bhutan in May. Following PM Modi’s visit to Nepal, the Ministry of External Affairs announced the appointment of Naveen Srivastava. He is known as a strong China hand and handled the East Asian Desk before being appointed Nepal ambassador. Ambassador to Bhutan appointee Sudhakar Dalela is also an old China hand. The appointments reflect New Delhi’s efforts indicate that China views its neighborhood from a security perspective and intends to counter Chinese influence in the region.

Global Engagement

Modi embarked upon a trip to Japan to attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit on 23 May. Modi spoke of India’s role in the maritime domain as the Quad made progress on maritime domain awareness (MDA). He described Quad as a ‘force for good’.

However, the Quad continues to remain divided on Russia. India is reluctant to criticize Russia, India’s time-tested strategic partner. Amid the ongoing conflict, India-Russia bilateral trade has witnessed an exponential rise. India is not just purchasing cheap oil from Russia but is also procuring other commodities such as fertilizers. Moscow is now the fourth-highest supplier of crude oil to New Delhi. As two major powers, India and Russia are consolidating their traditional partnership through an enhanced trade relationship that is only bound to grow. India also continues to have a different position in Moscow than the European Union. India’s Minister of External Affairs, S. Jaishankar, was quite critical of European hypocrisy over procuring oil from Russia to meet India’s needs. He said that Europe’s purchases of oil from Russia far outweigh India’s. However, the Quad is firmly united in its view of the global threat posed by rising Chinese influence.

Research Commentaries

NRC0017 – Xi, Modi and Nepal’s ‘balance’

Santosh Sharma Poudel

Synopsis

President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping visited Nepal on 12-13 October for his first state visit, 23 years after President Jiang Zemin’s state visit to the Himalayan nation in December 1996. The much-anticipated visit by the Chinese President went smoothly but created a ripple in Nepal and immediate neighborhood. Nepal shares a 1400km long border. President Xi’s visit shows the growing presence and significance of Nepal in the international arena. It is also a return to normalcy in Sino-Nepal relations. As of October 2019, President Xi has visited each member of SAARC’s original seven (minus Bhutan with whom China has no official relations) member countries.

Strategic timing?

The visit by a Chinese President to Nepal was long overdue. The last Chinese President to visit Nepal was Jiang Zemin in December 1996. Both Nepal and China have gone through drastic domestic changes and the region has transformed, thanks primarily to the rise of China (and India). To briefly summarize the domestic changes in Nepal, Nepal has gone through the 10-year Maoist insurgency, successfully entered into the electoral democracy in collaboration with mainstream parties, became a republic (from a constitutional monarchy), had two constituent assembly elections (the latter of which produced the Constitution of Nepal, 2015), and elected a first majority Communist government in 2017.

During the same time, China has been through the phase of ‘peaceful development’ under Hu Jintao and ‘national rejuvenation’ under President Xi. China has been able to lift up the GDP per capita from USD 981 to almost USD9000 according to World Bank. China embarked on a major effort to root out corruption and removed the two-term limit for the President. China is also striving to achieve two centenary goals (moderately well-off nation by 2021 and strong, democratic, harmonious, civilized and modern socialist country by 2049). Globally, China is a force to be reckoned with, especially after 2008. China has emerged as a global power, and taking initiatives and responsibilities commensurate with its power. President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are prime examples. The former transverses more than half of the globe.

After 1996 only Chinese Prime Ministers Zhu Rongji and Wen Jiabao visited Nepal in 2001 and 2012 respectively. Meanwhile, King Gyanendra (2002 and 2005), then incumbent Prime Ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal (2008), Madhav Kumar Nepal (2009), Sushil Koirala (2014), Khadga Prasad Oli (2016) and Bidhya Devi Bhandari (2019) have visited China during the same period. President Xi’s visit restores the normalcy in the diplomatic exchange between Nepal and China.

In saying that, the timing of the visit is no coincidence. After the promulgation of the Constitution (2015) and the national and local elections (2017), Nepal has entered a peaceful and stable phase. It also helps that Nepal has a democratically elected majority Communist government, the Nepal Communist Party [named so after the merger between CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Center) after the latest elections].

At regional level, the competition between China and India for influence in South Asian states has increased in recent decades. China’s active engagement with small coastal and island states in South Asia which India dub as ‘string of pearls’ has raised concerns in New Delhi. Additionally, Beijing’s active promotion of Belt and Road initiative (India has not joined yet) had challenged India’s ‘sphere of influence’. This has thrusted Nepal to the forefront of regional geo-politics. At the same time, it is too simplistic to label India and China as rivals, and President Xi also stated that India and China are partners. The increased trade links between India and China has necessitated further connectivity. In that context, the idea of the role of Nepal as transit state has come to the fore. This has pushed Nepal to the forefront of geo-economics as well.

Globally, the competition between China and the US for regional influence has propelled Nepal in the forefront of global geopolitics. The introduction of the Indo-Pacific Strategy by the US, which is perceived by Beijing as an attempt to contain China, has increased strategic significance for/of Nepal. Therefore, serious issues of national, regional and global enduring significance were at stake and Xi’s visit.

Significance of the visit

The visit by the Chinese President is symbolically very important. President Xi’s visit was able to elevate Nepal-China relations. The relations between Nepal and China was upgraded to ‘Strategic Partnership’ of Cooperation Featuring Ever-Lasting Friendship for Development and Prosperity from ‘friendly relations’ or ‘time-tested friendly relations’. This means China sees Nepal as a long-term and stable partner focused on the larger picture of China-Nepal relations. This also comes with the expectation that there will be more foreign policy stability in Nepala. This is also emblematically important in Asian context where ‘status’ is taken very seriously, therefore, the labels used to define relations between states are important by themselves.

The talks and agreement during Xi’s visit mostly focused on BRI, Trans-Himalayan network and connectivity. The current visit and agreement have provided decisive guidance in that context. It was agreed to conduct feasibility studies for cross-Himalayan railways and China committed to extend cooperation on Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini railways. China would also support the speeding up of upgrading and restoring the existing road networks. This will have immediate impact on connectivity. The number of agreements pertaining to infrastructure (mostly transportation) indicates the importance of connectivity to both Nepal and China.

President Xi’s visit is also significant domestically. Nepal has a democratically elected communist party in power. Globally, it’s a rarity and anachronistic. On top of that, the Nepal Communist Party (NCP)(named so after the merger) ran on a nationalist rhetoric in the aftermath of Indian blockade. Hence, the visit of President Xi enhances the legitimacy of the current government and provides for a ‘balanced’ relations vis-à-vis China and India. Beijing should be eagerly following the political fate of NCP in Nepal as China experiments with elections at local levels. While Nepal bears no direct resemblance to China’s political structure, the success (or failure) of the Communist party in Nepal could have a bearing on the democratization debate in China.

This visit also served as an opportunity for China to criticize Nepal (indirectly) on its dismal implementation of previously signed accords. President Xi reminded that China made plans and implemented them which led to success. It was not a subtle reminder to Nepal that agreements alone will not lead to progress without implementation. Hopefully, the message got across to Nepal’s political elites.

Zero-sum game?

Many analysts in Nepal, and more so in India, see Nepal’s deepening relations, especially in context to connectivity, with China and Xi’s visit as a counter-balance to Indian influence. Some extremists even view it as Chinese attempt at encircling India. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The connectivity of Nepal with China is both complementary to Nepal’s connectivity with India and India’s connectivity with China. At the same time, the agreements signed with India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power and the ones signed during President Xi’s visit is not competitive in essence. If anything, it’s the opposite.

The joint statement between Nepal and India during Modi’s visit to Nepal in 2014 underlined the need to further explore ways to enhance sub-regional cooperation, particularly in areas of trade, transit, connectivity and hydropower. Indian and Nepalese Prime Minister directed the finalization and signing of Rail Service Agreement, Letter of Exchanges on Trade and Transit, and ratification of BITTA among others. Even based on these agreements, it is very clear that both China and India are both looking for connectivity, investment in infrastructure, and ease in the investment regime for foreign investors in Nepal.

Even from Nepalese perspective, for any expensive connectivity network (especially the railways) through the Himalayas to be viable, it inadvertently has to extend beyond Nepal’s Southern borders to India. The trade between Nepal and China (especially exports from Nepal to China) cannot sustain such an expensive connectivity by itself. Therefore, Nepal needs to facilitate trade between India and China, which is close to USD 90 billion, and link Chinese West to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the two most populous Indian states which have no direct link to sea port. While India has not joined BRI (but is part of other corridors such as BCIM), India too would be one of the major beneficiaries of connectivity. To borrow Chinese parlance, it’s a win-win cooperation with mutual benefits to all three nations.

Moving forward

President Xi’s visit to Nepal is significant by itself for reasons stated above. While it has implications for Nepal-India relations, it would be foolhardy to see it completely in the context of China and India rivalry. Even Beijing and New Delhi do not see themselves as ‘rivals’. In such a case, it’s prudent for Nepal to move past thinking of China as a card to play against India or vice-versa. Nepal’s relationship with India and China has its own significance, dimensions and merits. The zero-sum mentality will only hold back Nepal’s development and limit the perimeter of Nepalese foreign policy. Instead, we are better for engaging them both in a mutually beneficial relationship. The agreements and statements from President Xi’s visit and PM Modi’s first visit to Nepal are testaments that win-win cooperation is possible.

Endnote

a* This interpretation is based on Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s explanation of Strategic partnership during his trip to Europein 2004. He described strategic partnership as:

By ‘strategic’, it means that the cooperation should be long-term and stable, bearing on the larger picture of China-EU relations. It transcends the differences in ideology and social system and is not subjected to the impacts of individual events that occur from time to time. By ‘partnership’, it means that the cooperation should be equal-footed, mutually beneficial and win-win. The two sides should base themselves on mutual respect and mutual trust, endeavour to expand converging interests and seek common ground on the major issues while shelving differences on the minor ones.

References

  1. China Daily. (September, 2019). Xi stresses striving for national rejuvenation. Retrieved from https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201909/12/WS5d7a2e49a310cf3e3556b4df.html
  2. Feng, Z. and Huang, J. (2014). China’s Strategic Partnership Diplomacy. European Strategic Partnership Observatory. Retrieved from https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/181324/China%E2%80%99s%20strategic%20partnership%20diplomacy_%20engaging%20with%20a%20changing%20world%20.pdf
  3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal. (October, 2019). Joint Statement between Nepal and PRC. Retrieved from https://mofa.gov.np/joint-statement-between-nepal-and-the-peoples-republic-of-china-2/
  4. Nepal Institute for Policy Research (NIPoRe). (Oct 2019). NDV004 – President Xi Jinping’s state visits – SAARC vs. ASEAN. Retrieved from https://nipore.org/ndv0004-president-xi-jinpings-state-visits-saarc-vs-asean/
  5. Nepal’s Embassy in China. (July, 2013). Joint statement between Nepal and PRC. Retrieved from http://np.china-embassy.org/eng/ChinaNepal/t1057401.htm
  6. PRC White Paper on peaceful development. (2011). Retrieved from http://ph.china-embassy.org/eng/zt/peace/t895028.htm
  7. State Council of the People’s Republic of China. (2019). China and the World in the new era. Retrieved from http://english.www.gov.cn/archive/whitepaper/201909/27/content_WS5d8d80f9c6d0bcf8c4c142ef.html
  8. World Bank. (2019). GDP per capita (current US$). Retrieved from https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_cd&idim=country:CHN:IND:RUS&hl=en&dl=en
  9. Xinhua Net. (October, 2019). Xi’s article on Nepalese newspapers. Retrieved from http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-07/15/c_133485834.htm [Nepali version of the article is available at: https://ekantipur.com/opinion/2019/10/11/1570759989337122.html]