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Nepal logs in with Chinese Internet, disconnects India's monopoly

Science & Military2018-01-14

Nepal on Friday connected with Chinese Internet services ending years of India’s monopoly. Nepal's Minister for Information and Communications, Mohan Bahadur Basnet during the inauguration of optical fiber link through Rauwagadhi-Kerung located at Geelong Port border point said the Internet link between the two countries faced significant challenges including an earthquake in 2015. The Internet link developed by China Telecom Global Limited (CTG) in collaboration with Nepal Telecom (NT) runs through a harsh Himalayan terrain. The services were earlier planned to be launched in 2014, but the devastating earthquake in April 2015 blocked Tatopani highway leading to delays. The cable extends from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu to the border point Rasuwagadhi into the Tibet Autonomous Region. “The link was delayed because of many natural disasters, but I am happy the project has been successfully completed,” Basnet said. For years, two major Indian telecom companies – Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications – were the only Internet providers in Nepal. Chief Representative of China Telecom Wang Yonglin inaugurating the Interlink said, the Nepal-China cross-border optical fiber link would enable Nepal to deliver Internet traffic at just 73 milliseconds to Hong Kong compared to 120 milliseconds through the sub-marine routes that Nepal has been using, Xinhua reported. China Telecom Global Limited and Nepal Telecom, a state-owned Internet provider, had signed an agreement in 2016 to provide IP services in Nepal. Are China-Nepal relations witnessing a tectonic shift? Nepal is heavily dependent on India and China for transit and transport points; the Himalayan country doesn’t have a single seaport. Nepal's Minister for Information and Communication Mohan Bahadur Basnet (2nd L) shakes hands with Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong after the inauguration of Nepal-China cross-border optical fiber link at Kathmandu, Nepal, Jan. 12, 2018. The Nepal-China cross-border optical fiber link came into commercial operation on Friday. A few months after the earthquake in 2015, Nepal faced the worst crisis of fuel during the Madhesi movement that led to a blockade of fuel and essential goods from India. The Nepalese government blamed India for not resolving the dispute leading to sour relations between the two countries. The stir caused long hours of power cuts and rationing of cooking gas for nearly over six months. Concerned over the dependence on India, Oli traveled to China in 2016 to sign a transit agreement to get access to more ports and railway networks. “China-Nepal relations are developing at the fastest pace we’ve seen,” China’s ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said. Recently, Nepal's government quashed earlier decision to cancel the mega Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project proposed to be built in collaboration with Chinese company Gezhouba Water and Power (Group) Co Ltd. The 2.5-billion-US-dollar project proposes to construct a dam for generating 1,200 MW of electricity. Jabin Jacob, a senior researcher at Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), New Delhi, told CGTN, Nepal’s Internet access with China will provide more choices to the landlocked country. “It won’t reduce Nepal’s dependence on India,” he said. (CGTN)

Nepal on Friday connected with Chinese Internet services ending years of India’s monopoly.

Nepal's Minister for Information and Communications, Mohan Bahadur Basnet during the inauguration of optical fiber link through Rauwagadhi-Kerung located at Geelong Port border point said the Internet link between the two countries faced significant challenges including an earthquake in 2015.

The Internet link developed by China Telecom Global Limited (CTG) in collaboration with Nepal Telecom (NT) runs through a harsh Himalayan terrain. The services were earlier planned to be launched in 2014, but the devastating earthquake in April 2015 blocked Tatopani highway leading to delays.

The cable extends from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu to the border point Rasuwagadhi into the Tibet Autonomous Region. “The link was delayed because of many natural disasters, but I am happy the project has been successfully completed,” Basnet said.

For years, two major Indian telecom companies – Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications – were the only Internet providers in Nepal.

Chief Representative of China Telecom Wang Yonglin inaugurating the Interlink said, the Nepal-China cross-border optical fiber link would enable Nepal to deliver Internet traffic at just 73 milliseconds to Hong Kong compared to 120 milliseconds through the sub-marine routes that Nepal has been using, Xinhua reported.

China Telecom Global Limited and Nepal Telecom, a state-owned Internet provider, had signed an agreement in 2016 to provide IP services in Nepal.

Are China-Nepal relations witnessing a tectonic shift?

Nepal is heavily dependent on India and China for transit and transport points; the Himalayan country doesn’t have a single seaport.

Nepal's Minister for Information and Communication Mohan Bahadur Basnet (2nd L) shakes hands with Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong after the inauguration of Nepal-China cross-border optical fiber link at Kathmandu, Nepal, Jan. 12, 2018. The Nepal-China cross-border optical fiber link came into commercial operation on Friday.

Nepal's Minister for Information and Communication Mohan Bahadur Basnet (2nd L) shakes hands with Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong after the inauguration of Nepal-China cross-border optical fiber link at Kathmandu, Nepal, Jan. 12, 2018. The Nepal-China cross-border optical fiber link came into commercial operation on Friday.

A few months after the earthquake in 2015, Nepal faced the worst crisis of fuel during the Madhesi movement that led to a blockade of fuel and essential goods from India.

The Nepalese government blamed India for not resolving the dispute leading to sour relations between the two countries.

The stir caused long hours of power cuts and rationing of cooking gas for nearly over six months. Concerned over the dependence on India, Oli traveled to China in 2016 to sign a transit agreement to get access to more ports and railway networks.

“China-Nepal relations are developing at the fastest pace we’ve seen,” China’s ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said.

Recently, Nepal's government quashed earlier decision to cancel the mega Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project proposed to be built in collaboration with Chinese company Gezhouba Water and Power (Group) Co Ltd. The 2.5-billion-US-dollar project proposes to construct a dam for generating 1,200 MW of electricity.

Jabin Jacob, a senior researcher at Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), New Delhi, told CGTN, Nepal’s Internet access with China will provide more choices to the landlocked country. “It won’t reduce Nepal’s dependence on India,” he said.

(CGTN)

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