Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to China last week was not quite the blockbuster it was made out to be, given his ideological leaning towards Beijing. Instead, it reflected the healthy realism that Nepal cannot build ties with China at the expense of India.
Among the agreements the two countries announced was a decision to extend China’s Tibet railway from the Tibetan city of Shigatse, north of Sikkim and 248 km to the west of Lhasa, to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. In the first stage, a 564-km line would connect Shigatse to Kerung, 24 km from the China-Nepal border, while the second stage of the project entails developing a 174-km link to Kathmandu, across the Himalayas.
This opens up the dramatic possibility of the first trans-Himalayan rail link that could go all the way to India. Recall that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in April, when Oli was visiting New Delhi, that India and Nepal would build a railway line connecting Kathmandu with India. Read More
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