KATHMANDU, Sept 23: Refuting media reports about the alleged encroachment of Nepali territory by China in Humla district, Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali has said that there is no dispute over territory between Nepal and China.
Addressing a press conference organized to brief the media about cabinet decisions on Wednesday evening, Minister Gyawali, who is also the government's spokesperson, said a similar news about land encroachment from Chinese side in Limi village in Humla district had surfaced four years ago as well. The government had then formed a probe committee to see if the news was true.
Minister Gyawali said the probe committee comprising officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Land Reform had later shown that the Chinese side had constructed buildings some 1 kilometer away from the Nepal-China border. New buildings were constructed by Chinese authorities for their border security personnel in the same area now.
Minister Gyawali also said that a team led by Chief District Officer (CDO) of Humla district is currently in the Limi village and further details about it will be available once the team returns to the district headquarters.
Issuing a separate press statement on Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Department of Survey, Government of Nepal, based on the official records, reports of the joint field inspection and boundary maps, has verified and confirmed that the said buildings are not located within the Nepali territory.
"It may be recalled that the matter of buildings in question also surfaced in some media in 2016. An inter-ministerial team after the field inspection had concluded that the said buildings were located approximately one kilometer inside the Chinese territory from the Nepal-China border," said the statement.
The MoFA in the statement further said the boundary between Nepal and China was delineated and demarcated based on the Boundary Treaty and Boundary Protocols signed between the two countries. "Nepal and China have always maintained close communication on border matters," it said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Embassy of China in a statement had asked Nepali authorities to verify the border points as agreed between the two countries in the past, denying encroachment of Nepali territory. "The buildings mentioned in the media have been verified to be on the Chinese side of the China-Nepal border. The Nepali side may make verification again," a spokesperson at the Embassy of China in Kathmandu said.
Chinese Embassy Spokesperson also said that there are no territorial disputes whatsoever between Nepal and China. "China and Nepal have no territorial disputes. The two sides have always maintained close communication on border affairs," the spokesperson further said.
The disputed area lies in Lampcha village of Namkha Rural Municipality in Humla district. Locals said Chinese border security forces have reportedly constructed at least 11 buildings in the area claimed both by Nepal and China.