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Xi Jinping’s Pursuit of Dictatorial rule through Digital Totalitarianism

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In the age of rapid technological advancement, as the news outlets in China increasingly goes digital, and as television goes mobile, the digital ecosystem has become one of the major concerns to the Chinese leadership and its rule. As part of its political propaganda, Beijing has been setting different communication strategies to control the outflow of news by instrumentalizing and implementing stringent laws to dominate international cyberspace.   Through the implementation of three recent laws – the Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law (DSL), and Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) – China has taken a range of measures that restrict cross-border data flows and enforce data localisation.

The Chinese cybersecurity law was enacted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on November 7, 2013, and it came into effect on June 1, 2017. The law is widely seen to be in line with the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) which aims to promote domestic industries such as cloud computing and big data processing. The 14th Five-Year Plan aims to centralize and control China through a digital ecosystem. As outlined in the 14th FYP:

We will welcome the digital age, activate the potential of data factors of productions, promote the construction of a cyber powerhouse, accelerate the construction of the digital economy, digital society, and digital government, and leverage digital transformations to drive overall changes in production methods, lifestyle, and governance.

The legislation passed by China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament accelerates the damage it could do for global trade and services. According to the law, it requires companies to store all data within China and it also includes contentious requirements to pass the security review, within China’s stated goal to achieve “cyber sovereignty.” The idea is that the state should be permitted to govern, monitor, and control data flow in their digital ecosystem.

The law forces the foreign companies operating within China to either invest in domestic server infrastructure following the law or partner with service providers such as Tencent, or Alibaba,  thus saving capital expenditure costs for the foreign companies. The law is seen as a boon to domestic companies and has been criticized by the international community as creating unfair competition against international technology companies such as Microsoft and Google.  

Since the law came into practice, many foreign technology companies have already complied with the law. Apple has established a data center for Chinese users in a contractual arrangement with state-owned firm in Guizhou with $1 Billion in partnership. The Company has close ties to the Chinese government and transferred the operation and source of iCloud data to China.

In July 2017, Apple pulled out 60 VPN services from its AppStore in China.  Meanwhile, online services, such as Skype which refused to store their data locally and was thereby delisted from China’s domestic app stores.  Since, China is home to Apple’s manufacturing services, Apple and other companies who are investing in China need to place human rights over profit-making.   

The requirement for data localization in article 37 of the Cyber Security Law is also seen as a move by Beijing to instrumentalize Chinese laws to prosecute entities and individuals who are viewed by the Chinese government in violation of it laws. Critics have concluded that the law exemplifies the practice of digital totalitarianism by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Xi Jinping’s Web of Laws

Since President Xi Jinping took the reign of China in 2013, he was instrumental in creating mass surveillance in cyberspace by cracking down on online activities which are deemed to be politically sensitive. Xi would also upend and reform the Chinese internet governance to gain greater control over cyberspace than his predecessors. He also oversaw the creation and expansion of the Great Firewall. 

Hence it is not a surprise when President Xi Jinping himself emphasized the link between the two concepts: “Without cybersecurity, there is no national security.” With the rising power of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s internet regulator, China has strictly extended its iron grip and tightened control over the flow of information.

The Data Security Law (DSL)  

On August 20, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) passed the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which came into effect on November 1, 2021. This Law curbs what information companies can gather and sets the standard for how it must be stored. It triggered concerns among foreign business companies and civil societies.

Before the implementation of the Data Security Law, there are more than 56 million LinkedIn members in China, which makes it lucrative and the third-biggest market after the United States and India. Because of the DSL, the company felt “a considerably more difficult operating environment and higher regulatory requirement.” Following this, the tech giant LinkedIn decided to withdraw despite China’s lucrative market.

Yahoo, one of the foremost search engines entered the Chinese market in the year 1998. It was a roller coaster ride for them to operate in China. On 15 Feb, 2006, Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco, and Google were criticized in the US Congressional hearing for yielding to pressure from China for censoring their content. On 7 September, 2005, Yahoo is charged with supplying sensitive information to the Chinese authorities which led to the jailing of journalist Shi Tao.  The recent timing of Yahoo pulling out from China, coincided with the implementation of China’s new data protection law on 1 Nov, 2021, marking an important milestone in China’s effort to create stricter guidelines on the Chinese digital ecosystem.

The new law intrudes upon individuals’ rights to freedom of expression, opinion, privacy, and access to information.  It also forces individuals’ to self-censor and restricts sharing images or videos that are perceived by the Chinese authorities as politically subversive. The law too limits the conditions where companies can gather personal information and set rules for how it is being used. DSL also stipulates that the companies operating in the country must hand over their data if requested. For instance, one of the largest companies, Alibaba was fined a record of $2.8 billion after an anti-monopoly probe found that it has abused its market dominance. Other than heavy fines, the laws have also raised concerns among both foreign and domestic companies that they would have to hand over intellectual property rights or open a backdoor channel to operate in China’s market. The law is widely criticized for limiting freedom of speech. For example, the law explicitly requires most online services operating in China to collect and verify the identity of their users, and, when required to, surrender such information to law enforcement without a warrant. For instance, article 33 states that:

When institutions engaged in data transaction intermediary services provide services, they shall require the party providing the data to explain the source of the data, examine and verify the identities of both parties to the transactions, and retain verification and transaction records.

Digital activists have argued that this policy dissuades people from freely expressing their thoughts online, thus it further stifle free expression and reduces them as a sitting duck.

Passang (name changed) who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has recently arrived from Tibet. He expressed his fear and said: “I was more afraid that these data security laws will also be practiced extensively in Tibet. Under the authority of the newly-appointed party secretary of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region, Wang Zunzheng, the Chinese authorities frequently advise Tibetans not to engage in any anti-social activities including contacting their family members and acquaintances outside Tibet. I have personally witnessed many Tibetans detained under vague and ficticious charges such as ‘leaking state secrets’ and ‘inciting separatism.’ Tibetans are jailed and interrogated with no apparent evidence of any wrongdoing. We are more concerned about the next year’s winter Olympics in China and its further places restrictions on the online activities, particularly on social media.” 

Tibetans are subjected to arbitrary arrests, detention, and torture for exercising their rights to freedom of expression in cyberspace. Since the law applies to data handling activities in China as well as those outside China, which will result in more scrutiny of data protection and direct suppression of freedom of expression and rights to privacy.  

Digital Totalitarianism: How does CSL directly impact Tibet? ­­­­­

China’s intensive use of high-tech surveillance, including artificial intelligence (AI) and espionage method has further stifled the voices of the Tibetan people, leading to self-censorship. Under Xi’s authoritarian rule, through the manipulation of a series of new laws, Beijing continues to subdue freedom of expression and infringe directly upon individuals’ privacy and daily lives.

A senior Tibetan journalist, who wants to remain anonymous said: “The implementation of cyber security law makes it difficult for gathering any information from Tibet, especially getting information from the capital of Tibet, Lhasa. This has become almost impossible. The Chinese police consider monks to be troublemakers. Monasteries are kept under strict vigilance, the Tibetan monks are forced to install surreptitious monitoring apps on their smartphones. The dubious logic given by the authorities was that the app is meant to alert in case of accidental fire. But in reality, it is intended to monitor their daily conversations. He further explained that “we need to find different avenues to pass the messages of the Tibetan people from Tibet to tell the world about the increasing suppression under the Chinese regime.”  

Many Tibetans are arrested knowingly or unknowingly. In March 2018, Woechung Gyatso, a Tibetan Monk was arrested and severely interrogated, and detained in Qinghai on suspicion of sharing politically sensitive content on social media and is being held at an undisclosed location.

In a recent notice, the Chinese authorities in the “Tibet Autonomous Region” announced criminal prosecutions against individuals who use online communication as a tool to engage in activities against the Chinese Communist regime. The general public is ordered to report any rumors circulating on social media and those who are involved in spreading them.  On 18 January 2021, a Tibetan named Tse was arrested for spreading rumors on the WeChat group about Coronavirus. Another notice on 24 November, 2020  was also publicly posted about a week ago, which said that the authorities would “strike hard” against offenders as “per law.”

Sharing the photographs, teachings, and talks of the Dalai Lama in viewed by Chinese authorities as illegal and this has resulted in Tibetans being arrested in Tibet. For instance, the Chinese authorities have arrested several Tibetans from Karze (Tibet) for celebrating the 86th birthday of the Dalai Lama.

Through their extensive propaganda machinery, China claims that Tibetans enjoy the freedom of expression and freedom of religion belief in Tibet. The Chinese government has steadfastly maintained a complete crackdown on any expression of reverence to the Dalai Lama, and even the possession of his picture is criminalized.

Recently, a Chinese court in Tibet sentenced writer and educator Go Sherab Gyatso to a 10-year prison sentence. He was known for his outspoken advocacy and activism towards the protection and preservation of Tibet’s environment, religion, language, and culture.

In order to fulfil his dream of retaining power, Xi has been bending laws in the pursuit of digital totalitarianism and has been implementing a series of sophisticated strategies to further control the already suppresed society. By doing this, general secretary Xi Jinping is destroying the dreams of common Chinese people and it will also further tarnish China’s nosediving image exacerbated by Coronavirus. To achieve a truly healthy “Digital ecosystem,” Chinese leaders may review the CSL and its related laws, and implement a stand-alone data protection law that adequately safeguard people’s rights and also give a space to breathe for foreign and domestic companies. China also need to reconsider policies related to data localization, not just to enhance the security of the internet and preserve human rights, but also to ensure society’s overall mental health and progress in the long run. Because to fulfil China’s dream, China may first need to fulfil the common Chinese peoples’ dreams and also the dreams of Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Southern Mongolian people.

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Chinese Communist Party and the path of “high-quality development” at Guangdong Province

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A night view of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on March 10, 2018. (PHOTO / VCG)

During the meeting of “Huang Kunming”, Secretary of Guangdong Provincial Party Committee mentioned that it is significant for Guangdong embark on a path of high-quality development fit for its own situation. According to my highly understand of China’s high-quality development and analysis to the nature of the Chinese society and the polices of the Communist Party of China regarding the development is meaning (all-round building a strong modern socialist country) and all-round rejuvenation of the Chinese nation still need to rely on development.

 With the continuous development of the Chinese economy and the deepening of reforms, China put forward a new expression of “high-quality development” for the first time at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017, which indicates that China’s economy has moved from a stage of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development.

 Changing China’s economic development strategy is an inevitable choice in line with the law of development and the demands of its development. Now, China is seeking to change its previous development pattern of relying on a large number of factors of production to focus more on quality and efficiency.  It has begun to adhere to the implementation of the new development philosophy that emphasizes innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all, and to build a new development pattern that relies on domestic trade and promotes integration between domestic and foreign trade to enable the Chinese society to complete the building of a strong modern socialist country in an all-round way, Chinese side should stick to advancing high-quality development as the top priority, as President Comrade “Xi Jinping” stressed in the report.

 High-quality development mainly depends on the economy’s vitality, innovation and competitiveness.  In order to improve these capabilities, China is accelerating the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy, intensifying its efforts to achieve a high level of self-reliance in scientific and technological research, mobilizing forces and focusing on solving intractable problems in original and pioneering science and technology research to achieve breakthroughs in some crucial and pivotal technologies, which are guided by these strategies, China has achieved good results in manned space industry, lunar and Mars sounding, deep-sea and land exploration, supercomputers, satellite navigation, quantum information, electro-nuclear technologies, large-scale passenger aircraft, medicine, biopharmaceuticals and other fields over the past years, and joined the ranks of innovative countries in the world.

 Green development is an important symbol of the transition of China’s economy from the stage of rapid growth to the stage of high-quality development. In recent years, China has pushed the green transition to a development mode, implemented the comprehensive rationalization strategy, developed green and low-carbon industries, and advocated green consumption.

  The bright future of China’s economy stems from more flexible and high-quality development. In 2021, China calmly responded to changes in the world as well as the COVID-19 epidemic, took new steps to build a new development pattern, achieve new results in high-quality development, and achieve a good start for the 14th Five-Year Plan. China has maintained a leading position in the world in economic development and in epidemic prevention and control, accelerated the growth of national strategic scientific and technological forces, improved the flexibility of the industrial chain, continued to deepen supply-side structural reforms, and made solid progress in the green transformation of the low-carbon economy and prosperity subscriber.

  Here, with the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the significant advantages of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, the technological foundation accumulated since reform and opening up, the extremely large market advantage and domestic demand potential, and with huge human capital and human resources, the Chinese economy will continue to grow steadily on the path of high-quality development, enabling China to contribute in achieving a steady and stable progress in the recovery of the global economy.

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China’s Deflating Population: The Economic Marvel in Eclipse?

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So China’s population shrank last year. I admit my first instinct was … well, isn’t this a good thing? I mean, during the entire 1960s and 1970s, global discourse misted around how the world population kept growing beyond the finite resources of this world. And how food scarcity and poverty would create a social depression. China, with a population of roughly 1.4 billion people, was specifically a focal point of population reduction strategies. After the widespread catastrophe of the Great Leap Forward, a debilitating social program orchestrated by Mao Zedong in the late 50s, China’s population was on the up and up in the following decade, to the point that the infamous ‘One-Child Policy’ was introduced in the late 70s to inhibit the burden of a growing population – and concomitant poverty. Since then, however, China has dynamically transformed into an economic powerhouse – a factory floor for global manufacturing. And here lies the answer to this population conundrum: Shrinking population in China is a problem now!

According to the data released by the Chinese government last week, China’s population contracted by circa 850,000 people in 2022; with 9.56 million births against 10.41 million deaths, it was the first time in more than half a century that deaths outnumbered births in China. The initial thought would be to blame it on the pandemic. But that would be a blinkered assumption without gauging the stunted birth rate. It was the sixth consecutive year that the number of births fell, down from 10.6 million in 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Many demographers and statisticians warned for years about a population decline on the cards, albeit much later in this decade. This presage was why the government reposed its one-child policy in 2016 and extended the limit to three children in 2021. Local governments offered tax rebates and outright cash handouts to couples having children. The source of anxiety was partly social and partly economic – or maybe socioeconomic is the correct juxtaposition.

China is a rising economic power, the world’s second-largest economy, and the strongest contender to dethrone American supremacy. But in listing all the superlatives, we sometimes forget that China is still a developing economy. Despite its phenomenal evolution from endemic poverty, its average population still earns less than the average earnings in advanced economies. And the shrinking population is a two-pronged issue that could constrict China, like other leading developing economies, into a middle-income trap.

Just by simple inference, we can judge that a declining population is also an aging population. Impressive modernity in China’s healthcare system has led to an increase in life expectancy. Meanwhile, a decades-long hiatus in birth-conducive policies and changed mores of young Chinese couples, often antipathetic to having children altogether, have led to a sharp decline in births. A combination of these factors has invited a conspicuous outcome: Shrinkage in China’s working-age population. In fact, China’s working-age population has been in decline since 2015; according to a government spokesman, it could fall to roughly 700 million (approximately 23%) by 2050. This factor would be particularly problematic for China, which has long been a competitive labor market for manufacturing heavyweights like Apple and Microsoft. But moreover, a bulging elderly population amidst falling tax receipts would pose a challenge to government finances, especially given the comparably underdeveloped social safety net programs in China. Therefore, either taxes ought to be raised sharply or state pensions to old-age dependents would hit the skids – a spartan policy dilemma either way.

We can draw apt comparisons from Japan – the world’s third largest economy – which has notoriously suffered from a lopsided aging population and accompanying anemic economic growth since the asset bubble burst of the 1990s. I mean, China’s real estate market does look like a financial crisis just waiting to happen. But post-boom Japan has tried virtually every bizarre economic strategy – from negative interest rates to yield curve control – yet has failed to spark demand-led inflation. Strangely, however, China has sustained its bustling economy on prohibitive rates of investment rather than consumer demand, which has remained relatively lukewarm due to policymakers’ reluctance to pass the complete scope of economic growth to households. Nonetheless, a contracting labor force would perhaps accelerate the exodus of manufacturing from China unless the government finds alternatives to sustain China’s unrivaled productivity levels.

We could blame China’s ‘zero Covid’ policy for strangling economic growth. It is no surprise that China’s economy grew by a modest 3% in 2022, its slowest rate in nearly four decades, barring 2020. Intermittent lockdowns and pedantic mass testing regimes cast a pall over economic activities. And higher interest rates imposed by the Federal Reserve and other central banks have dampened global demand and diluted appetite for Chinese imports. According to government officials, year-on-year Chinese exports fell by 9.9% in December. While an economic turnaround is widely expected later this year, a falling working-age population; a skyward old-age dependency ratio; and the ongoing trade tussle with the United States could cost China many more decades to supersede the American edge. However, China has been an iridescent success story, an economic miracle of sorts. And therefore, if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could somehow prioritize economy over national security; social reforms over governmental control; and collaboration over confrontation, I reckon China can again defy the odds and achieve its dream.

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Nepal-China Relations and Belt and Road Initiative

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Image source: xinhua

China appears to be more “functional” in Nepal recently. A new administration led by leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal has acted on the same pitch initially also. The Rasuwagadhi border crossing, which had been blocked for three years, has been reopened for two-way trade, and the much-anticipated Gyorong-Kathmandu train project’s final survey has also begun as of January 1, 2023. The second phase of the 10-lane ring road project from Kalanki to Chabhil is anticipated to start soon as well. All these accumulatively demonstrate the current nature of friendship between them and the profound Belt and Road Initiative is the key rostrum for the current complexion of the relationship between them. Hence, the trends are indicating a greater form of cooperation even in the regional domain as well.

Meanwhile, China and Nepal have inked a six-point agreement to strengthen bilateral collaboration and exchanges on governance, legislation, and supervisory practices, in line with Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). On September 12, 2022, in Kathmandu’s federal parliament building, Agni Prasad Sapkota, Speaker of the Parliament, and Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress, signed the agreement. According to the agreement, the nations would exchange information about each other’s legislative, oversight, and governance activities. Five years after BRI’s founding, on May 12, 2017, Nepal formally joined the process. Nine projects – the upgrading of the Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu road, the construction of the Kimathanka-Hile road, the construction of the road from Dipayal to the Chinese border, the Tokha-Bidur Road, the Galchhi-Rasuwagadhi-Kerung400kv transmission line, the Kerung-Kathmandu rail, the 762MW Tamor Hydroelectricity Project, the 426MW Phuket Karnali were on the to do list. However, more than any other nation, China invested US$188 million in Nepal during the 2020–21 fiscal year. During KP Sharma Oli’s visit to Beijing in 2016, Nepal and China also ratified a transit transport agreement for commerce with other parties.

However, amidst the current global tension and the changing rapport of international politics, China remains as a key investor in Nepal. Besides, the recent activities from the Nepal administration showed a shift in policy domain from the previous regime which in some cases was rigid to Chinese projects. Meanwhile, the BRI becomes more eminent in the strategic, political and economic domain of the status quo. Against such backdrop, the next sections will discuss current trends of the BRI in Nepal.

Nine Projects: Token of Continuation of the Initiative

Nepal put forward nine potential projects to be undertaken under the BRI at the beginning of 2019. These included setting up a technical institution in Nepal, building new highways, tunnels, and hydroelectricity dams, as well as conducting a feasibility assessment for a trans-Himalayan railway that would connect Jilong/Keyrung, a Chinese port of entry, with Kathmandu. This enhanced the significance of the project which will direct to more prosperous China- Nepal relations.

Nepal, the “Pillar”

Hou Yanqi, the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, stated in April 2022 that Nepal was one of the BRI’s most significant pillars and that projects were still moving forward despite the “speed of pragmatic collaboration” slowing down because of the coronavirus pandemic and Nepal’s changing political climate.

Transit Through China: Better Connectivity and Trade

Kathmandu protocol agreement with Beijing, Nepal will import and export goods from a third country through China through Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang seaports and land ports of Lanzhou, Lhasa and Shigatse. They will also get the facility of transporting goods through six dedicated transit points of the two countries. It will boost the trade for improved connectivity.

Extended Cooperation in Domains Except for BRI

In addition to the BRI projects, China is currently making significant investments in Nepal’s infrastructure, including ring road expansion, dry ports at the border crossings of Larcha and Syabrubesi, the establishment of China Study Centers, a new international airport in Pokhara, and optical fiber cable connectivity from Kathmandu to the Chinese border.

Energy Exploration: New Domain of Cooperation

China is also looking into the prospect of discovering gas and oil deposits in Nepal and is building a border river crossing at Hilsa, Humla. It will open a new domain of cooperation based on mutual interest.

Poverty Reduction and Generating Newer Income Sources

Currently, roughly six Chinese airlines offer regular flights to Nepal. Nepal has the fastest-growing Chinese tourist industry. Nepal granted China access to choose 16 Himalayan regions that border China to develop as part of a program to fight poverty.

Security: Bringing Peace

Joint military drills between China and Nepal are also a new development in security cooperation. It will bring peace in the region since the image of Nepal is very clean.

Increased Diplomatic Connectivity

The BRI appears to be one of the three priority pillars for the Chinese government’s organizing principles of foreign policy, along with the Global Development Initiatives and the Global Security Initiatives, in terms of developing successful international relations rather than just an economic endeavor. It will bring a fresh start in the diplomatic domain of both countries and the future prospects of ties in the diplomatic arena can be discussed robustly.

No More Landlockedness

Under BRI and the Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network, which will transform Nepal from a landlocked country to a land-linked one, there are multiple road, sea, and corridor networks throughout the world. It will boost the relationship to a great extent while there will be a surge in the arena of export and import.

Regional Connectivity

The extension of the Qingzang railway from Tibet to Nepal and the border with India is among the most significant BRI projects. Three routes are being considered for this railway. The first would connect Shigatse to Kathmandu via Kerung and continue on to Pokhara and Lumbini before reaching the Indian border. The second would run from Shigatse to the Burang border and connect Humla and Darchula districts in Nepal with Pithoragdh, Uttarakhand, while the third would link Shigatse to the Yandong border of Sikkim, India.

As China and India have no trade disputes with one another, India would gain from this project as well after trading through this route. In comparison to other industrialized parts of the world, South Asia could see an increase in commerce and investment if this project is carried out on a win-win basis between China and Nepal.

Challenges

Additionally, loans are typically provided on commercial terms through the Silk Road Fund and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), both of which are led by China (SRF). Due to project site clearance delays and the nation’s political instability, along with its comparatively short repayment time, Nepal’s big projects have raised concerns that they may not get off the ground.

Besides, three primary issues with China are of particular concern to the Nepalese government. First, instead of commercial loans, the nation favors grants and lenient loans from China. Second, it wants the interest rate and repayment period to be comparable to those of multilateral funding organizations like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. Thirdly, it thinks that bid competitions ought to be allowed for the BRI projects. But the Chinese authorities are not responding on the same page.

The Inception of a Recommenced Cooperation

Pradeep Gawali, Foreign Minister in the KP Sharma Oli’s government, said that from the perspective of Nepal, the BRI projects were the way to be connected to the trans-Himalayan multipurpose connectivity network. Nepal had been able to select the nine projects included in the BRI with great success. However, Chinese authority said on December 26 that it looks forward to cooperating with the new government to advance projects under the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, a day after the Maoist party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda was named as Nepal’s new prime minister (BRI). China aims to develop initiatives under the Belt and Road collaboration, according to Mao Ning, the official spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, who congratulated Prachanda on his appointment. Beijing claims that as a longtime ally and neighbor of Nepal, China cherishes Nepali relations very highly. China is prepared to collaborate with the new Nepalese administration to broaden and deepen friendly relations and cooperation on all fronts, pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, strategic cooperative alliance marked by enduring friendship for growth and prosperity new impetus, and bring more benefits to peoples from both sides.

Hence, it is evident that China’s policy toward Nepal is generally stable and uncomplicated, and the two countries’ bilateral relations have been cordial and shaped by Nepal’s strategy of balancing the divergent impact of China and its southern neighbor. Through BRI projects, Nepal could gain better connectivity relations with its northern neighbors, but in order to do so, Nepal must enhance its negotiations with China.

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