The balancing actIn 2019, Nepal seems to have adopted a non-aligned foreign policy that has seen it stuck. Hopefully, next year will see Nepal utilise its relationship with both to achieve prosperity at last.
In 2020, Nepal has to do much to balance its emergent diplomatic engagement and alliance choices in South Asia (‘The year the Sino-US tussle came to Kathmandu’, December 13).
Nepali arguments for and against both China’s Belt and Road Initiative and China’s Indo-Pacific Strategy are creating a robust environment for discussions in Nepal and abroad. India, at least outwardly, has maintained silence on both amidst SAARC's downward spiral. Prime Minister KP Oli seems eager to implement a ‘best of both’ approach, but then not many voices within the NCP or other political parties have joined in the chorus.
But both the US and China are Nepal’s allies; both have always enjoyed a cordial relationship with Nepal. The country has nothing to lose from either offer. What is unfortunate is that none of the Belt and Road projects has taken off, and the US Millennium Challenge Corporation grant of $500 million also awaits parliamentary ratification.
In 2019, Nepal seems to have adopted a non-aligned foreign policy that has seen it stuck. Hopefully, next year will see Nepal utilise its relationship with both to achieve prosperity at last.Surya B. Prasai, WashingtonDC