India, China seek influence in Nepal as infrastructure projects stall

India, China seek influence in Nepal as infrastructure projects stall


Projects are at a standstill in Nepal, as India and China compete for influence in the Himalayan country. Meanwhile, the Nepalese people are growing frustrated at the lack of development. Voice of America’s Henry Wilkins has more.

These rough, dusty tracks are where the Kathmandu-Terai Expressway was due to be finished this year. But the project that was supposed to link the capital to the country’s south is only one-quarter of the way done, local media reports say. And officials say it won’t be completed until 2027, at the earliest. Residents along the route say they’re tired of the lack of progress. Berung Tamang is a farmer, he says.

Berung Tamang
The faster it is built, the faster the citizens of Nepal can develop. Also, this is an open area. The dust from the current road even makes it into our house. For the cows and animals, the dust gets into their food as well.

Road construction has been held up in a court battle between Indian and Chinese companies who bid for the project. India and China are vying for influence here largely by offering development projects and financing for them. The country is strategically important for both as the Himalayan mountain range, which runs through Nepal, forms a barrier between them. Analysts say Nepal is walking a tightrope to stay neutral.

Shankar Tiwari
They just try to work attuned to their interest. Both the countries put their interest first before serving us. We need to tread consciously while taking any help from them. We don’t want to fall in the geopolitical quagmire.

Pokhara International Airport serves one of Nepal’s tourism hotspots. It was built by Chinese contractors with Chinese financing and opened in January 2023. It is yet to welcome any scheduled international flights, however. Local media say India is dragging its heels in allowing flights to go there because of the airport’s Chinese connections. Politicians say that India is a more natural partner for Nepal.

Arjun Narasingha K.C.
Nepali Congress Party
We are situated in between two giant countries, so we have to borrow the technology and resources of both sides. But you know, because of geography, because of history, because of religions, we are close to India. That we must say. At the same time, our relations with India must not give any negative impact to China.

As Nepal continues the balancing act, this stretch of the ring road round the capital, Kathmandu, recently expanded thanks to a Chinese-Nepali joint project.

Now shoe shops, hotels, cell phone shops have all opened here.

As delays to other projects continue, so too does India and China’s battle for hearts, minds and roads in Nepal.

Henry Wilkins, VOA News, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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印.中爭奪影響力 尼泊爾許多建設陷入停滯狀態



加德滿都到特萊的快速公路,原本應該在今年完工,現在還是塵土飛揚。根據當地媒體報導,這個本該將首都與國家南部連接起來的專案計畫,僅完成了四分之一。官方表示,最快也要到2027年才能完工。住在路途中的居民對於緩慢的進度怨聲載道,農民Berung Tamang就是其中之一。

[[農民 Berung Tamang ]]


[[政治分析師 Shankar Tiwari]]


[[尼泊爾大會黨 Arjun Narasingha K.C.]]





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