MAMALLAPURAM: Nepal has witnessed a series of anti-China protests in recent months over a slew of issues notwithstanding China’s enthusiasm over visit of its President from Saturday.

A protest was held (Kathmandu, August 14) in front of Chinese Huawei company office for its involvement in the hacking (May 06-07) of around 200 Nepali websites, including some important Government websites. The Protesters shouted anti-Huawei and anti-Chinese slogans during the protests. The protestors also tried to enter the Huawei office. Police arrested five protesters. Following this an interaction program of senior journalists was organized (August 26) to discuss Huawei’s misconduct in Nepal at Siddhartha College, Kathmandu, ET has learnt.

Following this another public program of over 200 people namely Khabardari and Sachetna Sabha (Warning and Awareness meeting) was organized (August 30) against the company, near the Head Office of Nepal Telecom (NT) where speakers alleged that the officers of NT along with Minister of Communication Gokul Baskota were involved in corruption and had sold 4G network contract to Chinese company without any bidding. Besides, a research paper on Huawei Company, mentioning its history, illegal activities and hacking case in Nepal was distributed during the event.

It is also a known fact that Huawei had been banned in US, European and many Asian countries have avoided its engagement in telecom connectivity. Nepalese Telecom Company (NTC) had planned several protests against Huawei’s role in Nepal, including the last one in September, 2019. Chinese agents in their Embassy based in Kathmandu have been trying to contain the damage caused to Huawei interests (i.e against hacking of 200 Nepali sites) through pro China media outlets in Nepal, ET has learnt.

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A group of 15 protesters including 10 women’s right activists held a demonstration (Kathmandu, September 09) near the Chinese embassy protesting against trafficking of Nepali women by Chinese nationals during the visit (September 08-10) of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Nepal.

Nine of the women activists were detained by the police upon complaint by the Chinese Embassy and were not immediately released even after some human rights activists and lawyers approached the Police. The protests got wide media coverage in mainstream media and social media. The protestors came in after recent incidents of ‘bride trafficking’ mostly from the Kaski, Chitwan, Sunsari, and Lamjung Districts being undertaken by certain Chinese nationals under the guise of facilitating cross-country marriages and getting them jobs.

A section of Nepal Communist Party leaders, including its elected representatives in Province 1 expressed serious concerns over big dam, construction constructed by China at Arun River, Sankhuwasabha. Member of Parliament from Sankhuwasabha, Rajendra Gautam expressed apprehension that Nepal’s territory could be submerged into water due to Chinese dam. MPs also allege that the recent flood in Province-1 and Province-2 was caused due to the Chinese dam as they released water from the dam during the rainy season. Similar such concerns were raised by a number of Province 2 leaders cutting across the party lines, ET has further learnt.

There was much public outrage over bank frauds committed by Chinese nationals in July-August 2019, who hacked ATMs of prominent banks like Nepal Rashtriya Bank and others. The Banks were forced to reduce the cash withdrawal limits from ATMs even in the festive season of Dashain thus causing much inconvenience to the public.

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A group of Chinese nationals managed to hack various bank ATMs and draw cash to the tune of NPR 1.26 crores and more than US $ 9,000/- to Nepalese banks. The fraud was carried out by tampering with ATM switch linking Nepal Electronic System (NEPS) to 11 banks through a coordinated effort. The ATM scandal carried out by Chinese citizens were not made public leading to speculation of different nature.

Meanwhile, Nepal Police had arrested five Chinese hackers for their involvement in hacking ATM in Kathmandu. “Nepalpana” in their FB page had posted that five Chinese hackers had tried to damage Nepal’s economy. One of the online news “nepalaaja.com” also quoted that officials of Chinese Embassy met its hackers at Balku Jail in Kathmandu.

Nepalese Congress (NC) lawmaker Amresh Kumar Singh recently claimed that Nepal Communist Party Chairperson did not meet Indian External Affairs Minister quoting protocol reasons, whereas, he met Chinese Foreign Minister violating the protocol procedures.





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