By Sanjay Upadhya (Notes by Dakota)
Chronological Summary of the Interactions between Nepal and the World
· Relationship with China started in the mid seventh century; Chinese became interested in Buddhist artifacts and texts.
· Resulted in a new trade route through Tibet to Nepal and increased interest and activity in the region.
· Warring with Tibet led to a Chinese invasion; became tributary to Qing Dynasty for period of time in exchange for independence during the times where British Empire dominated Southeast Asia.
· Britain tried to play mediator between China, Nepal, and India, but in the end only strained their relationship with all three.
· During both World Wars, Nepalese soldiers fought under British command. Their alliance with the British allowed them to maintain some autonomy and independence
· Chinese rulers including Mao Zedong considered Nepal a territory belonging to China that was lost to Imperialism.
· In 1950 China invaded Tibet. India, who had just gained independence, and hoping to not lose control of Nepal, installed a monarchy over the existing multiparty democracy in Nepal at that time.
· Just after its first democratic elections 1959, its neighbors in Tibet failed in revolting against China. The Dali Lama then fled to India.
· In the 1970’s, increasing influence from India to include the annexing by India of the Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim, a neighbor of Nepal, encouraged Nepal to veer away from India and attempt to forge a more militaristic based alliance with the Chinese.
· Since the 1990’s the Chinese Government has engaged in a campaign called “Go West” designed to cool down ethnic tensions in western China due to the relative lack of economic development in that side of the country. It is beneficial for China to keep Nepal stabilized to prevent dissention from spreading back to Tibet.
· Current Nepalese policy is to weight China and India against each other, to secure its sovereignty.