Why China-Nepal extradition treaty benefits India.
In the recent developments Nepal and China have taken one step closer to sign the extradition treaty. Extradition treaty enables criminals to be sent back to the nation where they have committed the crime. Extradition treaty enforces overseas jurisdiction of any country in an indirect manners. Once the extradition treaty is signed the country in which the criminal has fled is left with only few reasons to deny the transfer of criminals (it changes from treaty to treaty) in comparison to no treaty where the host nation has larger options to refuse extradition.
Nepal shares border with the Tibet province. In this light China views the treaty as a tool to bring back the tibetians who have protested against China in the past and continue to do so from Nepal. According to Indian Express some 20000 Tibetian exiles reside in Nepal. This extradition treaty would give more power to China to demand those exiles. The continued oppression of Uighur Muslims in China along with the recent Hong Kong Protest is just an example of how firmly China wants territorial as well as cultural soveriegnty.
This move would push the current and future Tibetian exiles to enter directly to India in all legal and illegal ways. This is where India’s stand on these migrants will have a greater weight against China. It can be safely assumed from history that China goes to any extent in order to protect and consolidate it’s sovereignty, and India’s stand on the level of protection it gives to these exiles will define the future Indo-China relations.
It might sound cruel to use the protection given to Tibetian nationals in order to obtain concessions in trade and upper position in territorial issues. But the reality is it would be a point of contention between India and China where China will press to send back the exiles. India has a history of being sympathetic towards Tibet under the name of cultural ties or Buddhism. Protection to Dalai Lama and non interference with his government in exile are signs of the sympathy. Extension of this sympathy to the additional tibetians would be another card up India’s sleeve.
Thus, India should watch out for increase in the inflow of Tibetians from it’s north-eastern borders after the ‘planned’ extradition treaty between Nepal and China. It should utitlize this opportunity to bank for larger interests.