As India and China are emerging to be global economic powerhouses, implications for the Himalayan Region, which they consider as their backyard, are natural. There are broader implications for Nepal, which shares the border with both the countries.
Several books have been written analyzing and discussing the relations between the two Asian powers and their role in their periphery. Dr. Shimkhada, a well known scholar of international politics, discusses the states of countries like Nepal in the new context.
“As China and India, both rise, will they take the traditional power-centric path of hegemonic and conflictual polarity of not allowing a “peer competitor” to emerge or find a new path or rising together in a new paradigm of cooperative and managed competitive plurality?
“These are the kinds of questions the author raises, if not fully answered in this edition,” writes Achyut Wagle, professor of economics, Kathmandu University, in his introduction. “The book provides a much-needed vantage on Nepal’s foreign affairs for students, researchers of international relations.”
Professor Wagle has rightly pointed out the main strength of the book which details the implications of the changing relations between India and China in Nepal’s foreign and internal policy.
In the book divided into four different parts, Dr. Shimkhada has raised important issues emerging in the world and their implications to Nepal’s foreign policy. In the first chapter, Dr. Shimkhada reflects on some themes of international relations. The second part is about some reflections on Nepal’s foreign policy, part three is about Nepal-India relations and part four is about Nepal-China relations.
Relations In The 21st Century
By Shambhu Ram Simkhada
Publisher: Sanrab Publication
Distributor: Unnati Books, Exhibition Road, Kathmandu, Telephone: 4218568
First Edition : 2018
Second Edition: 2021
Starting with analysis and discussion of the theories of international relations, he analyzes Nepal’s relations with two neighbors and the relations between the two countries in the new context. He also discusses competitive and cooperative patterns of relations between the countries dealing with Nepal.
Author Dr. Shimkhada has citied an agreement between India and China to use Lipulekh, a remote part of western Nepal, claimed by Nepal, to improve their bilateral trade. From India-China border disputes in Bhutanese territory Doklam to recently disputed area in Laddakh, Dr. Shimkhada has laid out clear analyses showing how two Asian powers are competing with each other.
At a time when Nepal is gradually losing its credibility in both the neighboring countries due to confusions and contradictions of its leadership, Dr. Shimkhada has come out with a very viable suggestion on how Nepal needs to deal with southern neighbor India and northern neighbor China.
As Nepal shares land as well as civilization with India, it is in the broader interest of Nepal. Similarly, Nepal and China have old relations based more on geography than culture and civilization. Surrounded by two big countries, Nepal has very little space and option to maintain the relations with the neighbors.
“At a time when internally, political parties and their leaders are divided on matters of national importance and international affairs and there are significant new developments in the region and the world, to minimize risks and optimize opportunities, national consensus on foreign and national security policies among the key political actors has become most urgent. In this new environment relationship of trust and confidence with the two immediate neighbors within the overall guiding philosophy of Amity with All and Entity with None continues to be the most important issue of Nepal’s foreign policy and national security agenda,” writes Dr. Shimkhada in his preface.
At a time when the region is facing new security and diplomatic situation with the rise of India and China, this book is highly relevant and important. For those who want to know Nepal, India and China, this book is a valuable, must-read.