New Delhi: After China’s new map antagonized India, Nepal is a bit miffed – albeit cautiously – as the map does not show the territories on the Indian border claimed by Kathmandu through its own cartographic efforts. China had unveiled the 2023 edition of its standard map recently, which drew attention in Kathmandu, as it doesn’t include the areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura, which are in the shape of a pointed spur and were incorporated into the official Nepali map in May 2020.
The Chinese map has evoked some strong reaction within Nepal, with Kathmandu mayor Balen Shah cancelling his visit to China. Nepali foreign ministry spokesperson Sewa Lamsal issued a cautiously worded statement that didn’t directly condemn Beijing.
“Nepal stands firm and clear on its political and administrative map unanimously approved by the parliament of Nepal in 2020. The government of Nepal unequivocally believes that this map must be respected by our neighbors as well as the international community. Nepal remains committed to resolve the boundary matters through dialogues and diplomacy,” said the spokesperson on September 1.
It is not surprising that Beijing does not recognize those areas as Nepali territory, as Lipulekh has long been an officially recognized trading post between India and China. Till now, there has been no personal statement from the Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is scheduled to visit China this month to lead the delegation for the Asian Games. Besides India, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines have also expressed their objection to the new Chinese map based on their claims to the South China Sea.