Dhakal said, however, that the government was ready to implement the protocol and that private companies should be ready to start trading with third countries via Chinese ports. Nepal and China have agreed on the text of the protocol to the transit and transport agreement, which was signed two years ago and will now allow Nepal access to Chinese sea and land ports in order to end its exclusive dependence on India for goods and trade. This is a trial period for India-Nepal relations, as bilateral relations between China and Nepal enter a new phase. The Belt and Road initiative was a key opportunity for China to further enhance relations with South Asian nations. This is why it becomes important for India to resurrect its relations of civilization and to give priority to the only true path – Neighbourhood First. Traditionally, Nepal transports goods through the port of Calcutta with third countries. The transit contract between Nepal and India was signed in 1978 and renewed in 2013. However, in 1989, India imposed a 15-month economic blockade on Nepal, which denied access to port facilities in Calcutta, Nepal, while Nepal was trying to buy Chinese anti-aircraft weapons. According to the official, until more routes are opened and infrastructure is built on the Nepalese side, Nepal will not be able to make the most of the transit protocol.
Each year, China offers scholarships that do not exceed 100 Nepalese students studying in China. In addition, for the past five years, the Chinese side has been providing Chinese language training to 200 tourism entrepreneurs (40 per year) in Nepal, as indicated by the agreement reached between two parties by the Commission in March 2016. To date, 120 Nepalese tourism professionals have completed six-month Sino-linguistic inter-linguistic training, 40 in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Both sides carried out activities in the field of culture and youth in 2009, in accordance with the provisions of the MoU on Cultural Cooperation 1999 and the Youth Exchange Programme 2009. Both sides have encouraged relations between people by regularly organising cultural festivals, friendly visits of people from different sections of society in public life, exhibitions, cultural and film exhibitions, food festivals, etc. Relations between cities in two countries are multiplying. These relationships are mainly aimed at carrying out exchanges and cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, transport, science and technology, culture, tourism, education, sport and health, personnel, etc. In accordance with the TTA, China will provide permits for trucks and containers carrying cargo bound to and from Nepal to and from Xigatse in Tibet. Nepalese traders can use all means of transport, rail or road, to access seaports and dry ports. The two sides also agreed on access to Chinese territory of six checkpoints in Nepal. 3 Transportation regimes and drying ports could also be used for bilateral commercial purposes. It is interesting to note that the protocol does not mention anything about Nepal`s land access to Markets in Central Asia and Europe.
While the southern corridor offers several options for Nepal, northern Nepal`s trade routes are limited. First, although the Lanzhou-Kyirong-Kathmandou (LKM) route takes less time than the Shanghai-Kolkata-Birgunj line, the LKM route only allows Nepalese traders access to China`s industrial areas/shopping malls, while Nepalese traders mainly import goods from industrial cities in southeastern China. During his visit to Beijing in 2016, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli signed the transit and transport agreement aimed at breaking Nepal`s total dependence on India for trade with third countries.