After expanding its influence in Nepal via road and rail, China now wants to extend its Nepal rail link to India.
In April 2015, China had proposed to extend its railway line to Nepal via Tibet and Mount Everest. Though at that time experts had raised alarm over China’s plans as the railway line was for Beijing to find a short route to Kathmandu to access the vast market.
While India has shown little interest in the corridor, it now appears that China is looking to stretch its railway link into Bihar so as to improve connectivity with India.
According to a local Chinese media, Beijing is planning a cross-border railroad link which at present is being discussed for extension to Rasuwagadhi area in Nepal.
China is planning to reach the Nepal border by 2020 and then possibly connect with India at to Birgunj, just beyond the border at Bihar, via Rasuwagadhi, which is just 240 km away.
With this rail link, China will find it easier to push its goods in the Indian market while saving time, cost and distance.
Nepal too will benefit a lot from this rail route and the project is really important for Nepal’s development.
The project is also said to be really beneficial for connecting South Asian countries, but due to sensitivity of these areas, many major projects have been aborted, some even before a brick has been laid.