By Mahendra Subedi
The entire world has remained perplexed by the rapid development ongoing in China in the recent decades. And, almost all the politicians, intellectual community, bureaucrats and civil society in Nepal too are more or less familiar with the China’s development pace either by visiting the gigantic nation or through the media while the private sector has had some first-hand experiences of the traits as its runs many businesses in Nepal with Chinese joint venture.
China boasts of world’s fastest train clocking 350 km per hour. In her bid stay ahead in the global economic and strategic phenomena, China is likely to expand (some prefer to call it sell) its railway links to the outer world as part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China already has around 20,000 kilometres of high-speed rail tracks (nearly two-thirds of the world’s total) connecting the country as far as Russia and London, and many other countries.
Likewise, the roadways and physical infrastructures that China is building in the recent years are so amazing that it compels everyone visiting Chinese cities to rethink the nation’s ‘capi-communism’ modality of development. Some economists prefer to call capi-communism as the development model in China, which is the fusion of capitalism in the communist nation after Deng Xiaoping opened China to foreign investment and the global market.
A Hong Kong-based Nepali writer and columnist for a local paper Tim I Gurung shares that China’s engineering is undoubtedly the best in the world. The competitive global tender, strong monitoring mechanism, a determined dream to become a super power and high-quality construction materials are behind the amazing infrastructure feats that have happened in China, writer Gurung observes.
However, the current picture of China’s development is not an easy gain; it’s a hard earned asset earned by the persistent toiling of millions of Chinese people and their policies for nation building and political commitments. And, the massive development in China, which is on its way to people’s prosperity and socialism, is also a result of double-digit economic growth rate of the country for almost three decades though it has slowed down a bit in the recent years. Besides physical developments, China has also aggressively worked in the field of arts, literature, education, research works and so on.
Politico-economist Hari Roka, who recently visited China, says that the patterns of Chinese economy have changed of late and the Chinese firms are not solely dependent on exports to flourish their business and start-up, adding that a huge scale of internal consumption in China is encouraging.
May be in its bid to become a global power, the Government of People’s Republic of China and the Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars across the globe while the Chinese firms seem aggressive in Africa and its neighbouring Asian countries.
Furthermore, the ‘One Belt, One Road’ also known as ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping promises more than one trillion US Dollars of support in infrastructure that spans in 60 plus countries across the globe including Nepal.
Benefits for Nepal
Though Nepal and China marked 62nd years of formal diplomatic ties on 1st August earlier this year, the two close neighbours enjoy very cordial relations for almost 2000 years at the peoples-to-peoples level, and in the field of culture and business. Since then the bilateral relations is steadfast on the basis of mutual interests.
As Nepal formally joined the BRI in May 2017, the level of trust between Nepal and China has further deepened which has paved ways for further assistance. “China’s strength has increased in the recent years and it has also forwarded the concept of BRI. The concept of BRI has opened up opportunities to benefit much for countries like ours,” Nepal’s Ambassador to People’s Republic of China Leela Mani Paudyal argues.
Paudyal believes Nepal needs to propose to the Chinese side by identifying the areas of its priorities and garner support for the same. “China is keen to support us. We must expedite our preparation. We have to stress on the development of connectivity i.e road and rail ways,” Ambassador Paudyal adds.
Though Nepal’s southern neighbor tends to describe our relations with China as ‘Nepal being wooed by China’, we should happily welcome Chinese support in connectivity–particularly linking China and Nepal through railways–industrial gains, knowledge exchange, tourism promotion and many other areas like other SAARC countries are doing. But, our political willpower and commitment, and actions to materialize the paper work are the upmost necessity of the present time. Only, this shall help Nepal’s development endeavours while also establishing a solid foundation for robust Sino-Nepal relations. (Credit: RSS)
The writer is a journalist and a labour migration researcher.