- During Nepal PM K. P. Oli visit, the China proposed a “two plus one” format for dialogue to Nepal involving India.
Highlights of Nepal PM visit
- During Mr. Oli’s visit, the Chinese side made its intent clear to engage deeply with Nepal, and develop special ties with its Himalayan neighbor.
- Both Nepali and Chinese sides have agreed to intensify implementation of the MoU on cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative to enhance connectivity.
- China has also agreed to help build necessary infrastructure for storage of petroleum products in Nepal.
Better and bigger regional cooperation
- However China also made it plain that China-Nepal ties would be docked with India’s shared interests as well. The Chinese made it clear that they were not interested in pursuing a zero-sum approach with Nepal.
- Thus it had become evident that China was inclined to fulfill its ambitious agenda with Nepal gradually, after ensuring that such steps were in sync with India’s interests.
- Having understood the ‘big picture’, the Nepal side appreciated that China is keen to build bridges with India.
- Also with increasing friction in US-China relation, India-China is taking center-stage to achieve greater regional cooperation, which covered connectivity as discussed at Wuhan informal summit between China and India.
2+1 vs trilateral mechanism
- The two-plus one formulation is different from a trilateral mechanism. Under the Chinese proposal, China and India can jointly conduct a dialogue with a third regional country.
- Thus the Chinese initiative is not Nepal-specific but flexible and can be applied to any other country in South Asia.