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Nepal now under the grips of China's 'Land-Grab' Policy


NEW DELHI, 23 JAN. KP Sharma Oli government’s agriculture department has expressed concern that the country could lose hundreds of hectares land to China due to rivers changing the course of rivers.

Massive road development projects in the Tibet Autonomous Region have led to rivers changing their course and expanding China’s boundary into northern territories of Nepal, a document by Nepal’s agriculture department has warned.

The document, accessed by Hindustan Times, said patches of Nepalese territory in several districts had already been encroached by China and cautioned that Beijing could take over more territory in the north if the rivers continue to change course.

The loss of Nepalese territory due to the rivers changing course could run into “hundreds of hectare land”, it said.

“There is a high possibility that over the period of time, China may develop its Border Observation Post of Armed Police in those territories,” the document by the agriculture ministry’s survey department said.

Nepal, which shares a boundary with China in the north, has 43 hills and mountains from the east to west, that act as the natural boundary between the two countries.

The two countries have six check posts, essentially for trade. The survey department has assessed that the changing course of 11 rivers had already cost Nepal 36 hectare, or 0.36 sq km, across four of its districts; Humla, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk and Sankhuwasabha.

The encroachment of 36 hectare land by China had been first reported to the KP Sharma Oliled government last year. There were some street protests after the loss of Nepalese territory to China emerged in the local media But the Oli government, who is accused by his detractors of attempting to cosy up to China’s communist party, played down the encroachment by the Chinese and channeled the public outrage against India over the new maps issued by New Delhi in November last after the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was split into two union territories.

Instead, PM Oli went on to amp up the differences with India over Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh spread across 330 sq km in May this year after Chinese intervention helped him survive a rebellion within the party in April. That intervention, however, meant that he had to scrap two ordinances promulgated just five days earlier.

PM Oli had seized the opportunity after India's defence minister Rajnath Singh opened an 80-km road that ends at Lipulekh Pass on the border with China.

Analysts in New Delhi and Kathmandu believe that PM Oli’s hard push to Nepal’s new political map was an effort to whip up ultranationalistic sentiments targetted at India to consolidate his position in the government and the party. This is why he did, a diplomat in New Delhi said, PM Oli did not inform Parliament before it voted on the map earlier this month that he had ignored an offer of dialogue between the foreign secretaries of the two countries. Instead, he gave parliamentarians the impression that his government was forced to push the envelope since New Delhi had declined his offer for dialogue.

New Delhi hardened its position after the map was cleared by parliament this month, asserting that it was for him to create a conducive atmosphere in case he is interested in a bilateral dialogue on the boundary issue.

Amid India-China faceoff in the Eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Zee Media has come to know that Nepal's recent aggressive posture in raising border dispute with India is simply to divert public attention from China's occupation of many areas of the Himalayan nation.

The documents available with Zee Media revealed that China has annexed many parts of Nepal, and there is tremendous pressure on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's government, the reason, the border dispute with India was raised to divert the people's attention in Nepal.

According to the exclusive documents available with Zee Media, China has occupied about 11 areas adjacent to Nepal, but the Oli government has maintained a silence over it.

The occupation of the Chinese government is being opposed in Nepal's Rui village while the incumbent government has raised the border row with India, thereby, souring the centuries-old ties between the two neighbours.

An official related to Nepal affairs told Zee News that China is investing heavily in Nepal while capturing the areas adjoining Tibet, taking advantage of changes in river water flow in the region. China has also asserted its claims on several areas of Nepal, but it has been vehemently opposed in the Himalayan nation.

The government of Nepal has identified as many as 11 such places that China has so far occupied. The areas occupied by China in Nepal are:

1. China occupies 6 hectares of Bhagdare Khola in Humla district of Nepal. 2. China occupies 4 hectares of Karnali river in Humla district of Nepal. 3. China occupies 2 hectares of Sinjen Khola in Rasuwa district of Nepal. 4. China occupies one hectare of Bhurjuk Khola in Rasuwa district of Nepal. 5. China captures land of Lamde Khola in Rasuwa district of Nepal. 6. China captures 3 hectares of Jambu Khola in Rasuwa district of Nepal. 7. China occupies 7 hectares of land in Kharane Khola of Nepal's Sandhu Pal Chok district. 8. China occupies 4 hectares of Bhote Koshi of Sandhu Pal Chok district in Nepal. 9. China occupies 3 hectares of Samjung Khola in Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal. 10. China occupies 2 hectares of Kam Khola in Nepal's Sankhuwasabha district. 11. China also occupies 4 hectares of land from Arun riverbed in Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal

China has already occupied Rui village adjacent to Tibet for a long time and this is being opposed by the residents of that village. In a bid to divert the people's attention from Rui village, the Oli government has raised the issue of the border dispute with India.

China has made incursions into the Rui village comprising 72 houses, but the village is still included in the map of Nepal.

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