Kathmandu, February 26
A day after a visiting US defence official said the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative was in China’s interest and not necessarily in the interest of countries associated with BRI, including Nepal, the Chinese side today said such ‘irresponsible’ comments were ‘unpopular and had no market’.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joe Felter had said at an interaction with a select group of journalists yesterday that the US welcomed investment by China as long as that investment was designed to serve the interest of Nepal and not just China, and that they hoped China would improve its transparency and quality of its investments.
Referring to the US, the Embassy of China in Kathmandu said in a statement that if a country could not provide help to developing countries, it should at least refrain from obstructing others from assisting these countries, even less hurting the benefits of these people to serve its own political needs and sowing discord.
“Though faced with a large amount of facts and statistics, the relevant country has played up the so-called issue of non-transparency of China’s investment and increasing the debt burden from the BRI and made irresponsible remarks out of its political needs. It attempts to interfere in the friendly cooperation between China and Nepal which is very ridiculous,” read the embassy statement.
The embassy said they hoped the US could do more practical things for developing countries instead of making indiscreet remarks or criticisms.
The embassy said China shared the feelings of developing countries having faced the same problems such as insufficient industrial capacity, lack of self-reliant development capability, backward infrastructure and financial difficulties over quite a long time.
“So we know their pressing needs and have conducted mutually beneficial cooperation with these countries under the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and provided assistance much needed by developing countries with no political strings attached based on our own experience,” read the statement.
A version of this article appears in print on February 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.