China’s expansionist agenda is not only visible on the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) but also at the Nepal-China border. According to reports, China has encroached at least 28 hectares of Nepali land spread across four districts of Humla, Rasuwa, Sankhuwasabha and Sindhupalchok.
In a document by Nepal’s agriculture department, road development projects in the Tibet Autonomous Region have led to rivers changing their course and expanding China’s boundary into northern territories of Nepal.
The document said that patches of Nepalese territory in several districts had already been encroached by China and warned that Beijing could take over more territory in the north if the rivers continue to change course.
Since 1962, China has also taken over an entire village that falls in the world famous Gorkha district, but this fact became public only after a local publication carried a story.
According to official sources in Nepal, in many places, the encroachment has been done simply by shifting border pillars.
In a story done by Nepalese newspaper Annapurna Post on 7 July, it was revealed that China has occupied the entire Rui village that comes under Gorkha district.
A local journalist, based in Gorkha district, said that the Chinese had occupied the Rui village in 1962 itself. According to him, the Chinese had taken over the entire village by simply shifting the pillars that demarcate one side from the other.
“Border marker numbers 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 had been shifted at the border, which has led to Northern Gorkha’s Rui Village falling into China’s Tibet region. 170 households of Rui village of Gorkha district and 18 houses of Darchula are in Chinese territory despite being a part of Nepal,” he said.
He said it was only after the Annapurna Post published the story that the opposition parties of Nepal took cognizance of the matter and brought a motion in the Parliament.
Other local Kathmandu-based journalists said that the residents of Rui village have lost monasteries and grazing land to the Chinese now. They also said that there was no change on the ground and the village continued to be occupied by the Chinese despite the locals paying tax to the Nepalese government.
As per rules, the border talks between Nepal and China are to be held every 10 years, but it has not happened for decades now.
Nepal, which shares a boundary with China in the north, has 43 hills and mountains from the east to west that act as the natural boundary between the two countries. The two countries have six check posts, essentially for trade.
According to estimates of the 28 hectares of encroached land in the four districts of Humla, Rasuwa, Sankhuwasabha and Sindhupalchok, China has taken over parts of rivers that are on the Nepalese side including: 2 hectares in Bhagdare river in Humla district; one hectare in Samjen river; 3 hectares in Jawamu river; one hectare in Bhurjuga river; one hectare in Lenche river in Rasuwa district; 7 hectares in Kharane river; 4 hectares in Bhotekoshi; 3 hectares in Samjung river of Sindhupalchok district, 2 hectares of land in Kamu river and 4 hectares in Arun river of Sankhuwasabha district.