Many schools across Nepal have made it mandatory
for students to learn Mandarin. The decision came after Chinese government had
offered to cover salaries of teachers who teach the language.
However, as per the guidelines laid down by the
Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) of Nepal, schools are allowed to teach
foreign languages, but they cannot make those subjects mandatory for students.
The move to make learning Mandarin compulsory
comes amidst growing concerns over Chinese involvement in Nepal largely in the
backdrop of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious
programme to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks
along six corridors. It aims at improving (a) regional integration, (b)
increasing trade and (c) stimulating economic growth.
India has repeatedly opposed the BRI. The main
reason for India’s opposition to the BRI is the (China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor) CPEC which is a flagship programme of the BRI.
The CPEC passes through Pakistan-Occupied
Kashmir (Gilgit-Baltistan). As both India and Pakistan claim all of Kashmir,
the area is considered a disputed territory by India. According to India, it
undermines India’s strategic interests and territorial integrity.
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