Kathmandu, Sept 8: In what signals a further upswing in Nepal-China ties, the Nepalese government on Friday announced that their counterpart in Beijing has granted them access to all ports in China. The development assumes significance as it ends Nepal's sole dependence on India for trade.
Located between India and China, Nepal is a landlocked nation which had so far, since its existence, relied on Indian ports for foreign imports. An alternative became imperative after the fuel shortage in 2015, when New Delhi was accused of halting the essential supplied in an alleged bid to support the Madheshis.
Following a high-level meeting between Chinese and Nepalese officials on Friday, an announcement was made that Kathmandu will be allowed to offload and send shipments through these four ports: Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang.
"This is one of the milestones because we are getting access to four Chinese ports in addition to two ports in India,” an official of the Nepal Commerce Ministry was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Under KP Oli, geo-political experts claim that Nepal is ideologically drifting away from India, and towards the latter's economic rival, China. The two sides have also inked defence agreements which is considered an alarming sign in the power corridors of New Delhi. Kathmandu, however, has reiterated that improving ties with China should not be considered as deteriorating relations with India.