The Friendship Bridge in Nepal: Squeezed Between India and China

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Abstract

This contribution offers a critical perspective of the internal and external dimensions of security and conflicts in Nepal which is strategically located and has been courted by India and China for decades. Both countries have been reinforcing competition and even intervened directly and indirectly in domestic politics in Nepal.
The future relations between the two Asian giants will be a major factor determining strategic trends in the near environment of Himalaya. Asymmetries in power relations are illustrated by the impact of what may be termed the intertwined rivalry, confrontation, competition and loose cooperation between India and China.
The introduction concentrates on the structural issues related to “the great game” in the Himalayas. It sets out the strategic issues in relation to Nepal and attempts to relate the rivalry in a developmentalist and cross-border perspective where migration, low-intensity conflicts and smuggling complicate the situation. The main strategic interests of India and China are based on past misunderstandings and reluctance towards sustainable solutions. The second part compares the security situation in Nepal and how it acts as “buffer state” in relation to the ongoing geo-strategic rivalry. The third section analyses post-conflict situation in Nepal. The conclusion wraps up and gives some tentative clues on whether the new rapprochement may lead to peaceful solutions to the stalemate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety, Culture, and Political Transitions in Independent India : Essays in Honour of T. K. Oommen
EditorsSakarama Somayaji, Ganesha Somayvaji, Joanna Coelho
Number of pages17
PublisherRoutledge
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Oct 2022

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