China and Nepal recently moved to boost bilateral ties following a visit by high-ranking Chinese Communist Party officials. In an email interview, Abanti Bhattacharya, an associate professor in the department of East Asian studies at the University of Delhi, discussed China-Nepal relations.
WPR: What is the recent history of China-Nepal relations?
Abanti Bhattacharya: China-Nepal relations experienced a major transformation in March 2006, when China began to urge the Nepali king to reach out to opposition parties to restore peace, indicating China no longer viewed Nepal's political crisis as an internal affair. With the victory of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in April 2008 elections, China beefed up its interests in Nepal and hailed the bilateral relationship as a "role model." This transformation came on the heels of the March 2008 Tibetan uprising and China's ensuing sense of urgency to tame Tibetan refugees in Nepal in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. Then in December 2009 China-Nepal bilateral relations were elevated to a comprehensive partnership of cooperation.