Our watches showed Chinese time deep into Nepali territory: Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, NC lawmaker, Karnali Province

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 11

A team led by Nepali Congress lawmaker of Karnali Province Jeevan Bahadur Shahi that returned from an 11-day visit to Nepal-China border in Humla district has accused China of encroaching Nepal’s territory in the district.

Shahi told THT over the phone from Humla district that there are eight pillars on Humla’s northern border — Pillars No 9, 10, 11, 12, 5 (1), 6 (1), 7 (1) and 8 (1), adding that Pillar No 12 was damaged. He added that the Chinese side had replaced Pillar No 12 in such a way that a large chunk of Nepal’s territory had gone into China.

He said the pillar should have been repaired under joint observation of the authorities of Nepal and China, but the Chinese side unilaterally replaced the pillar. He said a team of experts should visit Nepal-China border in Humla district to make scientific assessment of what China had done.

“Our watches showed Chinese time deep into Nepali territory — up to one-and-half kilometres from Pillar No 12,” Shahi said.

Shahi said Pillar No 6 (1) was a Nepali pillar, but was on the Chinese side. “These pillars are in remote areas of the district and Nepali authorities hardly go there,” Shahi said.

He said members of Nepal’s Armed Police Force who had gone to inspect Pillars No 6 (1) and 5 (1) two–three days ago told the NC team that Chinese security personnel present in the areas had thrown rocks at them. “Chinese security forces have a heavy presence on the northern border, but our security forces are nowhere to be seen in those remote areas,” Shahi added.

He alleged that Chinese security personnel fired tear gas canisters at some of his team members when they went to the border to inspect pillars.

“I was not affected by the tear gas, as I was at some distance from the other members of the team. Vice-chair of Namkha Rural Municipality who was in our team said he felt burning sensation in his eyes and suspected that it might have been caused by tear gas canisters,” Shahi said.

He said his team would submit a report to the party soon with photographs of the inspected pillars.

Federal lawmaker Rangamati Shahi, who represents the Nepali Congress, said the government should not have claimed that Nepali land had not been encroached by China before seeing inspection reports.

When asked to comment on the claims of NC inspection team, Luan Xiutan, media liaison officer at Chinese Embassy in Nepal, said, “China and Nepal are friendly neighbours and have no territorial dispute.

China has always respected Nepal’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. A September 23 statement by Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the official stance of the Nepali government.

China and Nepal have always maintained close communication on border affairs.”

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