09/12/2013, 00.00
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China wants Nepal to shut military training facilities because of the presence of too many foreigners

by Kalpit Parajuli
The training centre in Mustang is located near the border with Tibet, one of the most sensitive areas in the world. Beijing is concerned about the presence of officers and soldiers from other countries, and points out that the CIA provided aid to Khampa rebels from this district. Nepal appears ready to accommodate the Chinese, but its army offers alternative solution.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - The Chinese government has asked Nepal to shut down its military training facility in Mustang District, where troops from seven foreign nations are currently training.

Beijing is concerned about the presence of foreign soldiers so close to its border-Mustang borders Tibet-and points out that several anti-Chinese actions began in the area.

Nepali authorities appear inclined to listen to Beijing's demands since China has become the country's most important economic and trading partners.

In 1990, the Nepali Army opened military facilities to foreign troops and officers, including some from the United States, India and s number of European countries, to train in high risk mountainous areas, deemed 'perfect' for unconventional war games.

In the past, pro-independence Khampa, ethnic Tibetans from China's Kham region found helped in the district in their fight against China. The Central Intelligence Agency, the US foreign counterintelligence, apparently provided support to their revolt from Mustang.

The Nepali government in Kathmandu appears willing to heed Beijing's demands, and has asked the army to close the training centre. "The presence of foreign troops in such a sensitive area may not be appropriate for our country's security," said Defence Minister Atma Ram Pandey.

However, under the new constitution, the military are not required to submit to the government's will. "We are aware of the Nepali government's concern and of the strategic importance of the training centre in the area." Army spokesman Jagadis Chandra Pokharel said.

However, "We have requested our government not to stop the training but rather monitor the activities of foreigners to ensure that nothing is done against the security of the country," not to mention that of China.

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