Survey document shows Chinese encroachment in seven districts
KATHMANDU, JUNE 25
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the agriculture ministry have refuted media reports of encroachment of Nepali territory by China on the northern border, but a document issued by the Survey Department of the Ministry of Agriculture in 2017 shows that China had encroached 36 hectares of Nepal’s territory at 10 places along the northern border.
“China is expanding its road network in the Tibet Autonomous Region because of which some rivers and its tributaries have changed their course and are flowing towards Nepal. If this continues, hundreds of hectares of our land could go to TAR,” states the document.
The document adds that Nepal has lost 10 hectares in Humla district to China, six hectares in Rasuwa, 11 hectares in Sindhupalchowk and nine hectares in Sankhuwasabha (100 hectares = 1 square km).
China may set up border observation posts with armed police personnel in those territories, states the agriculture ministry’s document.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, however, issued separate press statements today refuting media reports of encroachment of Nepali territory by China.
According to the agriculture ministry statement, the news report claiming encroachment of Nepali territory in seven districts of Nepal along the border with China was false. It adds that border areas were not under the ministry’s jurisdiction.
MoFA statement also denies that China has encroached upon Nepali territory. MoFA pointed out that the agriculture ministry had already denied existence of any document that showed Chinese encroachment since border areas didn’t fall under the ministry’s jurisdiction.
MoFA adds that the boundary between Nepal and China was delineated and demarcated on the basis of the Boundary Treaty of 5 October 1961 and the subsequent protocols signed between the two countries.
Boundary Markers No 37 and 38 reported as missing in media reports were never erected owing to natural conditions and both the countries had agreed to that, MoFA said in its release.
MoFA added that the Government of Nepal would resolve any border dispute with Chinese authorities concerned whenever such a dispute surfaces.
“The Ministry requests media to verify information from the authorities concerned before raking up sensitive matters that may adversely affect relations between the two friendly neighbours,” MoFA added.
Nepali Congress lawmakers Devendra Raj Kandel, Sanjay Kumar Gautam and Satya Narayan Sharma Khanal registered a motion of public importance in the Parliament Secretariat yesterday seeking a debate on the alleged Chinese encroachment of Nepali territory.
Gautam told THT that refuting recent media reports by the two ministries was not enough and the government should inform the Parliament about the alleged Chinese encroachment along the northern border. He said the government should present evidence to convince lawmakers that our borders are secure.
“Our border must be secured at all points. We cannot selectively raise the issue with India, but stay mum when it comes to China,” he said.
He added that local representatives in some northern districts had been saying that China had encroached upon border land.
Gautam pointed out that residents of Rui village in Gorkha used to pay land tax to the government till 1962, but after that the village became part of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 26, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.