Chinese encroachment in Humla? China denies it, so does MoFA

Buildings have been built at a distance of around two kilometres from the border in Lapcha Limi area of Namkha Rural Municipality in Humla: NC lawmaker Rangamati Shahi


China has allegedly built at least nine buildings on Nepali land near Nepal-China border in Humla district of Karnali province in Nepal.

Nepali Congress lawmaker from Humla Rangamati Shahi told THT that buildings had been built at a distance of around two kilometres from the border in Lapcha Limi area of Namkha Rural Municipality in the district. The NC lawmaker said she was informed by the Namkha RM chairperson that China had claimed the buildings were constructed on its own land.

She said Chief District Officer of Humla Chiranjivi Giri had visited the site, but two truckloads of Chinese army personnel came to that area one-and-a-half hours later and told them over bullhorn that those buildings were within Chinese territory and if Nepali authorities wanted to hold dialogue, then they should return to their own territory.

Shahi said the local people said they had been grazing their cattle in and around the area where China had built buildings.

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According to Shahi, when China had built one building in the area — supposedly a veterinary centre — in Lapcha-Limi area, 11 years ago, Nepali authorities had objected to it, but after that there was no follow up from the government authorities.

That area is far from the district headquarters and there is no electricity in the area.

Shahi said Pillar No 11 that demarcated Nepal-China border in the area was also missing. “As local Nepalis have been using the territory, that area is our territory. I think the government should immediately hold dialogue with China to reclaim our land,” said Shahi.

It is learnt that China has been building roads in the area for several years.

The area borders the Tibet Autonomous Region which offers a view of Kailash Mansarovar.

Humla Chief District Officer Chiranjivi Giri is supposed to submit a report at the district headquarters Simikot today.

Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairperson Kamal Thapa demanded the government’s reaction on the alleged encroachment of Nepali territory by China.

China rejected the claim of encroachment. Spokesperson for the Embassy of China in Nepal Wang Xiaolong sent a text message responding to the allegation of land encroachment, stating that China and Nepal are friendly neighbours. “China has always respected Nepal’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The buildings mentioned by the media have been verified to be on the Chinese side of the China-Nepal border.

“The Nepali side may verify again. China and Nepal have no territorial disputes.

The two sides have always maintained close communication on border affairs,” adds the message.

THT sent a text message to the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bharat Raj Paudyal seeking his comment on the alleged Chinese encroachment, but the spokesperson did not respond.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release stating that its attention had been drawn to media reports about the alleged construction of buildings by China within Nepali territory between Nepal-China boundary Pillars No 11 and 12 in Humla district.

The Department of Survey, Government of Nepal, based on the official records, reports of the joint field inspection and boundary maps, has verified and confirmed that the said buildings are not located within the Nepali territory, MoFA said.

It may be recalled that the matter of buildings in question also surfaced in some media in 2016. An inter-ministerial team after the field inspection had concluded that the said buildings were located approximately one kilometre inside Chinese territory from the Nepal-China border.

The boundary between Nepal and China was delineated and demarcated on the basis of the Boundary Treaty and Boundary Protocols signed between the two countries. Nepal and China have always maintained close communication on border matters.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 24, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.