US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina Teplitz on China, MCC, Nepa’s geopolitics

US Ambassador to Nepal HE Alaina Teplitz talks about Nepal’s geopolitical challenges, ties with China, US investment possiblities talking to a Nepal media – Kantipur TV, dated December 25, 2017.

The Ambassador says that Nepal has a challenging geographical and topographical position as it sits between the two very giant neighbors – China and India — on either side of the country and that Nepal needs to be friend with either of these just like Nepal has been friend with the US for many years.

According to Teplitz, there will be increasing economic connections between Nepal and China, therefore, Nepal will have to look at what those opportunities are, or are they good, sustainable, Nepal will have to have a “strategic vision to manage that.”

On Tibet question in Nepal, the Ambo says that the US supports the “One China policy” and that was also clear as President Trump came to power. However, she emphasized that, as regards the Tibetan refugees in Nepal, the US wants the cultural independence of these people and that they should be able to “make a living legally in a place of refuge. She appreciated that Nepal has been a “gracious host” and that she understands the geopolitical challenges, but the human rights and individual rights of these refugees should “have to be considered.”

On the India question that whether the US sees Nepal through Indian eyes, Teplitz says that is “really not the case.” She emphasizes that the US has “very independent perspective on Nepal” and independent international perspectives as well. She explains that the US has “alignment of interest with Nepal as well and “no, US is not a proxy for India’s views for the region.”

In terms of Nepal’s development, Teplitz stresses that the regional connectivity is essential for development in the region in facilitating trade and exchange of goods and services. As far as the investment climate in Nepal is concerned, although Nepal is a “place of great potential” and of creativity, talent and natural resources, there are barriers to investment, and it is “not welcoming as it needs to be.”

On the MCC question, she clarifies the misinterpretation in Nepal that the US MCC is a private company – the MCC is an agency of US government that works differently than USAID or other agencies, she said.

However, despite the US’s such large investment in energy sector in Nepal through MCC compact, she admits that US is watching closely Nepal’s corruption status backsliding.

Last Updated: 11.11.2022