China’s undeclared blockade taking Nepalese lives, who is responsible?
Sudarshan Ghimire, owner of Swet Baraha Enterprises, who created the image of a good businessman of New Road chose the path of suicide. He committed suicide on September 6, 2022.
Similarly, HareRam Paudel,a young entrepreneur from Sindhupalchowk involved in the import and supply of Chinese goods in the Nepali market had committed suicide on October 13, 2020, due to frustration when his goods got stuck on the Nepal-China border for months.
Both of these businessmen had been in the business for many years and had seen good days prior to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
The entrepreneurs were in a double trap, their goods were lying at the border for many months and they also had a huge amount of loans. On one hand, they had been going through the financial crisis, and on the other hand banks, and other moneylenders were demanding the installment or the dues cleared on a regular basis.
The entrepreneurs committed suicide under stress that the financial transaction worsened as the containers with his goods got stuck at the Chinese border for a long time.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in China in December 2019, Nepal’s trade through the China border has been affected.
Though not Nepal had taken any decisive initiative but many meetings have been done with China by the Nepals government to open the border.
Despite many meetings and discussions, there was an agreement to operate the border completely in two directions, but it has not been implemented yet.
Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi, who visited Nepal for three days last Chaitra, assured that arrangements will be made soon so that imports and export can be done easily from both northern ports. However, the border has not been eased till now.
Foreign Minister of Nepal Dr. Narayan Khadka who was on a visit to China last August, also said that discussions have been made with China on the border issue but the outcome of that visit and meeting is not seen as fruitful till now.
Similarly, At present, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Li Zhanshu is on an official visit to Nepal.
Nepalese leaders are again urging the Chinese side to facilitate in immediately opening the transit points on the Nepal-China border, including the Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi checkpoints so that the China-imported goods can enter Nepal in time as big festivals like Dashain, Tihar, and others are approaching in the country.
Li also assured that he would take initiatives for reducing the Nepal-China trade deficit and for opening the border transit points.
Though many times many Chinese leaders have assured for opening the transit points on the Nepal-China border, the results are not seen as per their commitment. Now it is yet to see whether the visit of leader Li Zhanshu to Nepal will be fruitful or not on the issue of border.