Territory won't be used against China: Nepalese FM

Source: Global Times [10:22 September 10 2009]

By Sun Wei

Nepalese Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala said Wednesday that Nepal is firm in its principled stand of not allowing Nepalese territory to be used against China.

Speaking at the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) in Beijing, she said Nepal has consistently upheld the "One China" policy, recognizing Tibet as part of China.

"We are committed to preventing any unwarranted activities in Nepal that adversely affect our cordial relations," Koirala said.

"Our actions have therefore been consistent with our principled position," she added.

Talking about Nepal's role in promoting China's relationship with south Asian countries, she said Nepal is a transit point between China and India.

"In the 1970s, when my uncle was prime minister, he used to say, ‘We, Nepal people, feel we are in-between two giant elephants,' and that made Nepal insecure, since elephants can stampede at any time."

"Today we are proud to say we are in between two big gold mines," she said, adding that Nepalese have to seize the opportunity to "take as much gold out of the two mines."

She said she was influenced a lot by her father, former Nepalese prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala, and her uncle, BP Koirala, Nepal's first elected prime minister.

Sujata Koirala also mentioned that during her meetings with Chinese leadership she would ask for a $1 billion soft loan through Exim bank for major projects in her country, including construction of a new airport, building a 400-megawatt hydropower plant and constructing railways and a new road network.

"The proximity and shared geographic advantage between Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China will be used to promote and further consolidate our relations along the border areas," Sujata added.

Nepal, in a transitional period, will benefit from the better connectivity with other countries in the region, she said.

Her trip is part of the preparation for an official China visit by Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, according to the Asian Tribune news portal.