China-Nepal Current Affairs - 2020

Corona virus: G7 Health Ministerial meet, China’s New Hospital, Travel ban by 4 countries

The Corona Virus death toll has increased to 360. The WHO has also declared International Health Emergency over the outbreak of the virus. The G7 countries are to conduct a Ministerial level health meet to discuss measures to prevent the further spread of the disease.

G7 meet

The health ministers of G7 grouping that comprises of USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan are to meet to discuss the epidemic being caused by the Corona virus. The Minsters will discuss a joint response to the epidemic.

The virus has so far reached 24 countries and infected 14,500 people

Travel Ban

The four countries Australia, US, New Zealand and Israel has imposed travel ban to the people who have recently visited China. This will certainly affected trade and business of China. The Chinese share markets are already slowing down.

Borders closed

The four countries Nepal, Russia and Mongolia have closed their borders with China.

China’s new hospital

China’s speed-built hospital in the city of Wuhan comprises of 1000 beds. The hospital was built in just 8 days. There are more than 21,558 suspected cases and 152,700 under watch cases in the country.

Chinese President Xi in Nepal

After Chennai Connect, the second informal summit at Mahabalipuram, India, the Chinese President visited Nepal. This is the first visit by a Chinese President in 22 years. The trade of the land locked Himalayan nation is dominated by the Indian sub-continent. Increasing its connectivity with Beijing it now seeks to end Indian dominance in its trade.

Key take-away of the visit

  • A 70-km rail link to be constructed as a part of China’s Belt and Road initiative. The link will connect Kathmandu, the capital city with Gyiron in Tibet.
  • 28-km Kerung-KAthmandu road tunnel is also proposed to halve the distance between Kathmandu and Chinese border. Nepal believes that these road projects are alternates to the trade routes through India. In 2015 and 2016, Nepal faced acute shortage of fuel and medicine due to the blockade along its border in India.
  • Nepal and China signed around 20 deals covering water supply, trade, traditional medicines.
  • The Chinese President pledged Rs 56 billion assistance to Kathmandu
  • President Xi promised to replenish the Arniko highway that links Kathmandu with Tatopani transit point. The highway was badly damaged in 2015 earthquake.
  • China is to provide further support in the post-quake reconstruction to promote “Visit Nepal Year 2020”. The program will support education and urban development in the country.

Both India and China are trying to influence Nepal, the natural buffer between them. India accounts to nearly two-thirds of Nepal’s trade and fuel supply.