Nepal has a long history and it is among one of the oldest Sovereign countries in comparison to it’s neighboring nation. The landlocked country Nepal is in the middle of the two great powers of the world, India, and China. So to prevent its Sovereignty, Nepal had started to expand its diplomatic outreach across the world in the early 1950s.
During that time, communism was blooming throughout China. On the other hand, newly independent India was unstable. So Nepalese rulers know the threats from it’s neighbor and they urged to expand their international relations beyond Asia.
Early Foreign Policy Of Nepal
Nepal had established its first international relation with Great Britain. In 1937 Nepal established its legation in London. It was also the first Nepalese diplomatic mission established in a foreign country. And Nepal elevated to the Ambassador level in 1947 A.D.
Similarly Nepal and United States foreign relations started in 1947, and just after two years, Nepal initiates foreign relations with France. And even after that, Nepal’s foreign relation was spreading across the world and it used to stand among the world’s greatest country as a Sovereign nation.
Current Situation Of Nepal’s Foreign Policy
If we closely absorb the current foreign policy of Nepal, it is totally opposite from its past. The ruling party seems to fail to maintain good relation with it’s western allies. Existing system acting like it needs no other foregin freinds besides China. People can see the huge influence of Chinese regim in Nepal.
Recently Nepal’s Prime minister KP Oli stated that they are reviewing its current foreign policy. However, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not have to finalize the draft and the draft still remained to endorsed from the cabinet. According to Professor Shreedhar Khatri, coordinator of reviewing Nepal’s foreign policy said that
“We have placed immediate neighbors India and China as our topmost priority,” we will prepare the policy as per the priority, including labor destination countries, United States, donor countries, among others”.
However, not a while ago, Shreedhar Katri had previously review Nepal’s foreign policy in 2018, under the She Bahadur Deuba administration. After nine months they even submitted the report but so far no one knows what happened with the report. Therefore it is pretty much clear that this time, Prime minister Oli has used the same scheme to promote his regime with the same person.
Ignoring Western Allies
Nepalese people want to do trade with China, they don’t want to trade the ideology to run the country. So far China has come forward to help Nepal but we have to make sure that it’s not a debt trap. We can take the example of China’s debt trap in our neighboring countries Pakistan Srilanka etc.
It’s good to maintain a healthy relationship with China but it doesn’t mean we have hurt our relationship with our western world for the sake of China. Recently Trump administration has formulated the policy that stranded the Nepalese student living in the U.S. America has also stated that there will be cuts in aids too in the future.
It’s a clear sign that we are having trouble with our oldest foreign allies. Comparing to the late 1940 and current foreign policy of Nepal, Prime minister Oli seems to have missed lessons from the nation’s history. Nepal used to be a good friend with western power but as Chinese influence has increased, our foreign policy has started to see a drastic downfall.
We definitely need to review our Foreign policy. And we do need to have maintain a good relationship with the western world to remain as souvenir nation. Remember the blockage in 2015 by India. And the way they include Nepal’s territory in their map.
India’s disgraceful action towards Nepal is a clear sign of our weak foreign policy. And if Prime minister Oli continues to emphasize more only to built relations with China. Then it will increase the future threats from its close neighbor.
Remember, Nepal used to be the world’s peaceful country and we do need to accomplish that once again. However, regarding the current foreign policy and present government plans and actions, it simply looks impossible.