Nepal is enthusiastically waiting to give new dynamic of defense diplomacy with our northern neighbor. If the date is not postponed then almost after a couple of weeks Nepal Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army will conduct its first ever military joint exercise in Nepal.
This is the first time Nepal Army is going to have the joint exercise with our northern neighbor’s army. So far exercise modality and planning has been already finalized. Since a long time, Nepal army has been profoundly participating in a joint military exercise with other countries like USA, UK, India and other nation’s militaries. Nepal army is not doing only joint exercise but it’s been nearly 2 decades since 2000 that every year Nepal Army has been conducting multinational peacekeeping exercise to support the global peace operation initiative. “Shanti Prayas” global peace operations initiative has given that opportunity for contributing nation militaries to train together, building interoperability and instituting good working affairs. So far since “Shanti Prayas” joint exercise started more than 28 country militaries have been done.
A week ago Chinese defense minister General Chang Wanqua’s Nepal visit was notable. Defense Minister’s Nepal visit's blow-out message was that China is giving priority to the new dynamic of defense diplomacy in the neighborhood. Today’s this world in geopolitics, defense diplomacy refers to the pursuit of foreign policy objectives through the peaceful way of defense resources and proficiencies. After the cold war in this changing world, the military alliance has transferred defense diplomacy. Nowadays our defense diplomacy has played a vital role in balancing foreign affairs.
The significance of Nepal–China joint military exercise is that it will strengthen the bilateral ties between two nations. Moreover, this joint exercise is also a kind of demand of unpredictable geopolitics. It will certainly help to boost the security pact and coordination between two nations. Mainly there are three key benefits which are an alliance of Nepal-China military diplomacy, military knowledge of exchange and national interest of both countries.
An alliance of Nepal–China military diplomacy
In recent years military diplomacy has developed as a major tool to further diplomatic interests of foreign affairs. Nepal-China military diplomacy can be a symbol of Himalaya’s security. Both countries have common bridges linked by culture, mountain, and rivers. Very soon we will link by rail and roads which can help to boost Nepal’s developmental shape. It’s part of military diplomacy and defense engagement. Even powerful nations use defense engagement to make utility of their soft power.
Nepal is strongly standing to One China Policy. A defense alliance can make more strong adhere for one china policy. Since past two decades due to political uncertainty, Nepal is not progressing. Our political leaders are not getting success to overcome their vested interests and geopolitics. In this stage an alliance of Nepal–China military diplomacy can play a vital role to protect both countries, land, and border. It is also security belt for the Tibet. This defense alliance will make an unremitting endeavor to make new contributions to the cause of Nepal–China friendship.
Military knowledge of exchange
This is not a first-time Nepalese army have engaged with China, China’s support during the earthquake time was commendable. Joint military exercise is not only defense diplomacy but it is an opportunity for the military knowledge of the exchange. This joint exercise will help both sides to build up military capacity, mutual cooperation, and set the scene for the sharing of military knowledge and experience for the ground troops.
On the operational side, it will also be conducted at the ground level. Nepal-China joint military exercises allow both countries' military to understand each others' drills and tactics, overcome language barriers and understand equipment capabilities.
From this joint exercise, both countries' military can familiar with each others' weapon and military technologies. Especially this joint exercise will be very useful in the operations of humanitarian aid in disaster time and anti-terrorism operation. It can help to build up grand military strategy and military doctrines. A fine example during the earthquake time was when the Nepal Army hosted multinational forces to rescue by land and air. Multination forces were deployed for rescue and their effort was successfully executed.
The national interest of both countries
Perhaps, Nepal-China military joint exercise's most important part is the national interest of both countries regarding this complexity of geopolitics. A joint exercise of both nations will assist the purpose of having access to a third country in order to minimize the influence we have in the region and thereby demonstrate our resolve to further our diplomatic objectives.
On the other side, Nepal–China military exercise can promote brotherhood and solidarity between two nations' military. Besides goodwill, it is a big tool for projection of nations' soft power, culture, language, and economy.
Nepal is going through political turmoil in this time and we should not forget our national interest. Military diplomacy can be a key aspect to building relations with the international community.
Nepal as an independent nation has a sovereign right to build military ties with other countries and this exercise could further enhance the military and bilateral relation between Nepal and China.
Nepal–China joint military exercise could be a window to learn about the two countries and a friendly bridge for the OBOR connectivity.