“By 2050 A.D, a “poor” Nepal will not survive between the two most prosperous, powerful nations on Earth.
To ‘exist’, Nepal must transform into a prosperous nation by then.”
By 2050 AD, Nepal’s northern neighbor China is projected to be the most prosperous nation in the world and India in the south is expected to become the 3rd most prosperous. Hence Nepal in between them, has an existential crisis and at the same time an immense opportunity.
Throughout its history, Nepal has delicately and pragmatically dealt with India and China to preserve its sovereignty. All successful nations tie their foreign policy closely with building their own prosperity by focusing on interdependence, multi-alliances and by responding (as opposed to reacting). On the contrary, since the last 20th century Nepal’s foreign policy has been a contradiction, swinging wildly between dependency and reactionary. Nepal’s various rulers in this last century invited multiple direct-indirect foreign interference that has worked against Nepal’s prosperity. The fuel supply crunch in 2015 has freshly served a stark reminder the painful consequences of decades of neglect in our foreign relations. Nepal is today a painfully dependent, unstable and desperately poor nation in an powerful neighborhood.
We acknowledge the painful situation where our two giant neighbors pose a clear and present danger to our sovereignty if Nepal does not transform into a prosperous nation along with them in the near future. Therefore Nepal’s foreign policy has to be persistently guided by the reality that,
“Within 2050, Nepal has to become a prosperous nation.”
To achieve this, Nepal should engage in a continuously evolving “interdependent” prosperity building, delicately balanced relationship with its two big neighbors. For this, we propose a holistic “North-South doctrine” for Nepal.
The “North-South doctrine” envisions building:
- Perception of Nepal as at “the center of the world.”
- Interdependent economic relationship between Nepal, India and China.
- Bridge builder role of Nepal between its two neighbors.
- Protecting neighborhood to strengthen internal security.
- Holistic Cross-border cultural understandings.
- “The center of the world” (Build this perception of Nepal)
- Nepal has to create a brand and perception that it is at the center of the world because of its strategic geo-location between the giant economies, China and India. Why? By 2050 AD the global center of gravity will shift to this region, and Nepal happens to be right in the center of all this.
- Outside Nepal, to build this perception, Nepal uses this metaphor, “Center of the World” on its diplomatic channels and encourages travelers and migrants, students studying overseas to use this analogy. Through subtle diplomacy we influence Chinese and Indians to think of our region as the center of the world.
- Inside Nepal, we persistently inject this terminology onto our citizen’s psyche through our leadership, education system, literature and media.
- Interdependent economy:
- Nepal is a bridge between India and China. It ensures smooth, safe zone, a cushion, a transition from one super-power to another super-power that compete fiercely yet need to collaborate closely to stay superpowers.
- Nepal is a transit, a hub for both Indian and Chinese businesses. To ensure this, Nepal sets up frameworks to make sure it acts as a smooth transition for its two neighbors to do ‘fair trade’ with each other.
- Nepal is a free trade zone. A North-South Arbitration Court resolves inter country economic disputes conflicts swiftly.
- Nepal is a ‘generous neighbor’. Chinese and Indian nationals are free to set up business in Nepal and own property as long as they run a profitable business for 5+ years in Nepal.
- Nepal serves strategic highly sought after agricultural needs of India and China such as herbs and crops that grow specifically only in geography like Nepal’s.
- A new mega-infrastructure financial institution called the North-South Bank set up with ⅓ stake of Nepal, India and China. This bank invests in billion + dollar projects focusing on “water” and clean energy resources along with “mega-infrastructure’ projects that builds China and India’s prosperity through Nepal.
- Initial focus on Fast Track highways / Electric Rail line (linking China border of Nepal to India border of Nepal in at least five strategic places ( Far West, Mid West , West, Central, East).
- Radically improve connectivity with other SAARC countries.
- Transition from fossil fuel to clean energy based infrastructures.
- “Bridge-builder” (between India and China)
- Nepal is an effective buffer state between China and India.
- Nepal is a facilitator, dialogue builder between India and China to improve relations that brings these two countries closer.
- North-South doctrine dictates that on matters of any international dispute between India and China, Nepal enacts as top priority, ‘North-South Center’ to continuously foster dialogue between the two great neighbors.
- Nepal builds itself as a spiritual resource center for 1 billion Hindus and nearly a half a billion Buddhists. It incorporates the policy of ‘empathy uniting humanity’:
- It builds spiritual centers all across Nepal, connecting these with Indian and Chinese spiritual centers to spread its values.
- Protecting Neighborhood to strengthen security within.
- Nepal is multi-aligned with India and China. It does not interfere at anything that hampers equitable prosperity in India and China.
- Nepal establishes a disaster security zones in the West, Center and East of Nepal where at least a year long supply of strategic security materials like food, energy, equipment, transport and medicine are stored in a high seismic-resistant stable facilities that will immediately respond to worst disasters in the sphere of Southern Tibet, Nepal, North-East and North-West states of India.
- Nepal has an open but monitored border (through technology) ensuring hassle-free trade and movement for both India and China.
- Mutually agreed Smart identification systems incorporated to make sure Indian/Nepali/chinese citizens and transport can pass through borders hassle-free.
- Nepal shares vital neighborhood security information transparently with its neighbors to help secure India and China’s internal security.
- Nepal has zero tolerance policy for anyone using Nepal for purposes of terrorism in either India or China. Nepal installs fast track courts to process extradition, addressing terrorism and violent hate activities against India or China.
- Nepal has an active joint counter-terrorism task forces with its neighbors.
- In world matters, Nepal (multi) aligns in the interest of Nepali, Indian and Chinese citizens. Nepal practices the policy of “peacekeeping through peacekeepers”. It ensures its security forces transition to UN peacekeeping forces committing majority of its total forces towards international peacekeeping duties by 2030.
- Nepal pledges to use its strategic resource, water in the interest of its citizens without hampering the interests of the citizens across the borders. It remains generous and empathetic in its use of water for the security of its neighbors too.
- Cross-border cultural understanding (to gain influence).
- Nepal is a ‘zone of spirituality’ by adopting a policy of “empathy through unity” to influence its immediate neighbors..
- Nepal runs a broad think-tank and dialogue center, the “North-South Center” to bring Nepali, Indian and Chinese social, political and economic leaders to better understand and work with each other to create a win-win situation.
- Nepal enhances its spiritual tourism as a strategy to bring Indians and Chinese to empathize with Nepali way of life and enhance it’s “guests as gods” policy. For this . It builds centers for cross-cultural understanding by rehabilitating mind and body of Chinese and Indians.
- A North-South university in Nepal along with Satellite centers in China and India focuses on teaching interdisciplinary studies building creativity around the working together of 3 distinct cultures and myriads of sub-cultures.
- Mandarin, Hindi and English are also incorporated in classrooms to to better communicate and understand both our neighbor’s culture and people, giving us an edge to influence positively. Nepal strives to become officially a quadrilingual nation (where citizens speak at least 4 languages).
Fruitful implementation of any policy of a nation is dependent on the ethical delivery of politics by its leaders. The North-South doctrine shall evolve according to the challenges of the future but will remain focused on building a prosperous Nepal and a prosperous neighborhood. We envision all foreign relations of Nepal in the next four decades to go through a “one door” policy which all political forces, bureaucracy and planners shall follow through.
This is a general ‘outline’ of a 21st century relevant foreign policy for Nepal. We hope to build detailed foreign policy paper based on this. This should explain why and how the North-South Doctrine will make Nepal a sovereign and prosperous nation within 2050 A.D. If you also want to help us make a detailed foreign policy, we would love your help. Please email us with your area of expertise and any suggestions at [email protected]
BibekSheel Nepali Party