It’s David versus Goliaths in the Himalayas: Nepal, which lies at the nexus between India and China, has become embroiled in territorial spats with not one but both of its hulking neighbors almost simultaneously.
The small nation, with Mount Everest on its edge, has long relied on India to support its economy. More recently it has turned to China to reduce that reliance and soak up Belt and Road investment. But the government in Kathmandu faces the challenge of soothing public anger that, left unbottled, could endanger its whole strategy.
The dispute with India flared up in early November after New Delhi issued a new “political map,” which split the state of Jammu and Kashmir into federal territories. While India’s handling of the status of Kashmir has riled its nemesis, Pakistan, the map also irked Nepal by including a different swath of disputed territory.
This sent Nepalese streaming into the streets for weeks. Hundreds of protesters — mainly from the student wings of both the ruling and opposition parties — shouted slogans and carried signs with messages like “Back off India” and “Return the encroached land.” Read More