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Tibet train to the border: An Interview with Chinese Ambassador to Nepal

January 21, 2008

Excerpts from an interview with Zheng Xianglin, Chinese ambassador to
Nepal, in Nepal, 20 January
Nepal Times
 From Issue #383 (2008-01-18 - 2008-01-24)

Are there any plans to extend the railway to the Nepal border?
The foreign minister has raised this issue on a number of occasions. The
line will not end in Lhasa but will continue to other cities in Tibet.
There are plans to extend the line to the Nepal border. In the future,
the railway might be extended to Kathmandu itself.

When might that happen?
Nothing has been finalised, so I don’t have much information about this.
But I don’t think that it will take very long to materialise.

There are some who claim that China is secretly helping the Maoists.
We do not support any specific party. We see no need for secret
relations with any party. We have always had friendly, open relations
with all the parties that are working for peace and stability, of which
the Maoists are also a part.

As a member of the United Nations Security Council, what is China’s
opinion on the role of UNMIN in Nepal and the extension of its mandate?
We strongly support whatever UNMIN’s current mandate is. We will respect
the Nepal government’s decision to extend or not extend its mandate.

The US has expressed its desire to resettle the Tibetan refugees
currently in Nepal. What does China think of this?
We oppose this because Tibet is currently in the process of peace,
stability and development. And the Tibet problem is China’s internal
matter. We won’t let any foreign power interfere in this. Along with the
Dalai Lama’s group, there are some that are showing Tibetans a false
dream of life in the US and Europe, where they would get better
education. Tibetans who don’t know the truth, and those who are misled
by these groups, cross the Himalayas into Nepal. Most of them are
minors. After coming to Kathmandu, they understand the situation and
there are many who have contacted our embassy to return to Tibet.
The Tibetan government and the Chinese people will never let such
separatists continue with their actions.

To resolve the border debate at Kalapani between Nepal and India, India
has proposed that China should also be involved since the region borders
China. Is China willing?
The border debate between India and Nepal is something that the two
countries should solve amicably by themselves.
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