border review | 15 December 2011

Wish list for Santa Wen

Ahead of Wen Jiabao’s upcoming visit to Kathmandu – the first time a Chinese premier ever visits the country – Milan Mani Sharma (República) takes stock of the what Nepal’s government has put on its wish list: > Nepal is seeking a credit line of US$ 5 billion (about Rs 400 billion) from the northern neighbor for implementing large scale infrastructure projects, mainly in hydropower, when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits Nepal. The projects for which the government is hoping for Chinese assistance are Pokhara International Airport, West Seti Hydropower Project (750 MW), Budi Gandaki Hydropower Project (600 MW) and Nalshyagugad Hydropower Project (400 MW).

Three dams and an airport is already not bad. But it does not stop there:

Apart from these, the government is also going to request China to help develop either an underground (metro) train in Kathmandu Valley or a railway line linking Kerung-Rasuwa with Lumbini. […] Likewise, the government is also wants China to help Nepal develop a cross-border (open track, blacktop) road network along the Simikot-Hilsa (85 km), Jomsom-Korala (80 km) and Khandbari-Kimanthanka (80 km) sectors to facilitate movement of goods and people.

Translation: We have played by the book and have not tolerated Tibetan dissent on our territory. Now it is time for that reward. If all these wishes were granted, Nepal would over night become one of the major recipients of Chinese investment-cum-development aid.