China on Tuesday said the Kalapani border issue is between India and Nepal as it hoped that the two neighbours could refrain from “unilateral actions” and properly resolve their disputes through friendly consultations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a media briefing in Beijing while replying to questions on India-Nepal differences over the border and Indian Army chief Gen. MM Naravane’s remarks that Kathmandu was objecting to the newly built road by India at the behest of “someone else”.
“Kalapani is an issue between Nepal and India, and we hope the two countries properly solve their disputes through friendly consultations,” Zhao said. Zhao also said Nepal and India also should “refrain from unilateral actions that might complicate the situation. Gen Naravane said on Friday that there were reasons to believe that Nepal objected to India’s newly-inaugurated road linking Lipulekh Pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand at the behest of “someone else”, in an apparent reference to a possible role by China on the matter.
He said there was no dispute whatsoever between India and Nepal in the area and road laid was very much within the Indian side. The 80-km-long strategically crucial road at a height of 17,000 KM along the border with China in Uttarakhand was thrown open by defence minister Rajnath Singh earlier this month. Nepal has raised objection to the inauguration of the road, saying the “unilateral act” was against the understanding reached between the two countries on resolving the border issues.
Nepal’s ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmakers have also tabled a special resolution in Parliament demanding the return of Nepal’s territory in Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, and Lipulekh.
The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory – India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.
Nepal’s Cabinet has endorsed a new political map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura under its territory, amidst a border dispute with India. — PTI