China’s Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe has lauded Nepal’s leadership for resolutely pursuing the ‘one-China’ policy and offered firm support to the Himalayan country in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, the Defence Ministry said in Beijing on Monday.
Mr. Wei, who is also a State Councillor, met Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest and held talks with Army chief Gen. Purna Chandra Thapa on ways to resume military cooperation and training impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic during his one-day visit to Nepal on Sunday.
According to a Chinese Defence Ministry statement, Mr. Wei told the Nepalese leaders that China highly appreciates Nepal for resolutely pursuing the ‘one-China’ policy, and also firmly supports Nepal to safeguard its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Under the ‘one-China’ policy, Beijing emphasises other countries to recognise Taiwan and Tibet as part of China, it said.
As China firmed up its ties with Nepal, which shares borders with Tibet, with heavy investments besides loans and financial assistance, Beijing wants Kathmandu to stop the free-flow of Tibetans to travel to Dharamshala in India to meet Tibet’s highest spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, the statement said. Nepal also has a large chunk of Tibetan population.
The 85-year-old Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a crackdown on an uprising by the local population in Tibet. India granted him political asylum and the Tibetan government-in exile is based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh since then.
China views the 14th Dalai Lama as a “separatist” working to split Tibet from China.