Kathmandu Mayor Cancels China Trip Over Map Row

(MENAFN- IANS) Kathmandu, Aug 31 ( IANS) Balen Shah, the Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), has cancelled his planned visit to China over the map row.

Shah, who is known as "hawkish nationalist” and earning fame over taking a tough stand in favour of Nepal's territory and integrity, has decided to cancel his five-day China visit beginning from Thursday.

This decision comes as a response to his concerns regarding China's omission of Nepal's updated map, unveiled in May 2020.

Taking to Facebook on Thursday, Mayor Shah has stated that he has cancelled his China visit on moral grounds pointing that the Chinese map published Monday on the Ministry of Natural Resources website used the old map of Nepal.

Nepal's new political map unveiled by the K.P. Oli government on May 20, 2020 and unanimously endorsed by Parliament on June 13 the same year, has now been dismissed by both India and China, the two neighbors.

After India unilaterally released a new political map in November 2019 by incorporating Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura areas, which are claimed by Nepal, and refused to entertain Nepal's concerns over the map, the Oli government, in a tit-for-tat move, unveiled the new map of Nepal in May 2020 by incorporating the three areas. This added a pointed spur on the northwest corner of the Nepal map.

And on Monday night, China released its own political map by including India's Arunachal Pradesh and the disputed Aksai Chin area in its territory. The map also shows the territories bordering China, but the pointed spur of the Nepal map is notably absent.

The disregard shown by both the neighbours to Nepal's new map has cast doubts on the map's validity.

Mayor Balen was all set to embark on a journey to Beijing today, with the purpose of promoting tourism and facilitating cultural exchange.

This visit was extended as an invitation from the Chinese government itself.

However, due to the absence of Nepal's new map in the version released by the Chinese government, Mayor Balen opted to call off his trip to China.

Balen cancelled his visit to China, expressing grave concerns that the recent map released by the Chinese government does not align with Nepal's new political map. Instead, it depicts Nepali territory as part of India.

China's decision to include Nepali territory as a part of India, without consulting Nepal, therefore, he says, he has decided to cancel his five-day visit to China on ethical grounds.




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