Nepal, like several other small countries in Asia hoping to gain economic prosperity, has accepted BRI (China’s Belt and Road Initiative) as an alternative resource. Some question, however, China’s motivation behind the initiative, and whether Beijing can afford the expensive 1 trillion, they have committed towards several projects.
But given the debt problems in Sri Lanka and other countries, the previous Nepali government was initially hesitant to follow the same path in its dealings with China. Last year, it pulled the plug on a $2.5 billion hydropower plant being built by a Chinese firm because of the lack of a competitive bidding process.
But since Oli returned to power in February, he has pursued much more Beijing-friendly policies. Last month, he reinstated the hydroelectric plant contract. And though Nepal is still seeking grants from China to build the trans-Himalayan railway, it’s unclear whether Oli will make this a precondition to starting construction.