Nepal’s Oli vows balanced ties with China, India if returned to power



KATHMANDU: Nepal’s main communist opposition party will balance the Himalayan nation’s ties with neighbours China and India for mutual benefit if it is returned to power in a general election this month, its leader said.
Both Asian giants have been locked in a high stakes battle for influence in Nepal — sandwiched between the two countries — longing for a friendly government in Kathmandhu.
India, Nepal’s biggest trade and economic partner, sees it as a natural ally and has invested billions of dollars in its infrastructure. Beijing has also made inroads lately and signed projects under its Belt and Road Initiative.
” They (India and China) are big powers. Our policy of neutrality and non-alignment will be genuinely followed and implemented,” KP Sharma Oli, a two-time former prime minister and president of opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), or UML, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
Oli, who is considered by some political watchers to be closer to China, gave New Delhi a rough time in his earlier term as he whipped up nationalist sentiment while altering Nepal’s map over disputed land by including territories controlled by India.


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