Neighbours see geopolitical mischief in China’s Mt Everest move

Mt Everest. (Photo courtesy: Outside)

(, May10’20) – China’s ongoing move to conduct a survey of Mt Everest for the eighth time since 1975, and the first since 2005, including for the purpose of re-measuring its height, amid a flurry of publicity has invited derision from people in India and Nepal who see geopolitical mischiefs in the undertaking.

Mt Everest demarcates the border between Tibet and Nepal and China came into the picture only after its invasion and annexation of the former after 1949. The Peak is called Sagarmata in Nepal and Jomolangma by Tibetans. China prefers to use the pinyin rendition of the Tibetan name, that is Qomolangma, since it had no historical Chinese name.

“It is a not a new thing, China is trying to consolidate its claims on Tibet and Everest,” May 10 quoted Professor of Chinese studies at Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Srikanth Kondapalli, as saying.

Experts in India are especially concerned about China’s installation of 5G network at Everest which took place as the current survey went underway, the report noted.

“Now they have mounted 5G at their side of the Everest, it is a controversial move as they can beam through the Himalayan range, there is a military component in 5G network, it is mounted 8000 metres above the sea level. They can snoop in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar. Post-Dalai Lama they will have leverage with this technology at the Himalayas,” Kondapalli was quoted as saying.

The official website of China Global Television Network (CGTN) published a tweet with pictures of Mount Everest, stating: “An extraordinary sun halo was spotted Friday in the skies over Mount Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak located in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.”

This declaration of the world’s highest peak being located in what is now part of the People’s Republic of China has enraged readers in Nepal.

The claim by the Chinese media has been widely criticized on social media in Nepal and elsewhere, and have urged the media to remove the claim immediately, reported Nepal’s May 10.

Netizens asserted that Mount Everest was in Nepal and not in China, and that it will always be the ‘pride of Nepalese’, reported May 10.

The report cited China as claiming the new survey was aimed at resolving the question whether the world’s highest peak had lost its height in the 2015 devastating earthquake that ravaged Nepal.

The report noted that Chinese Telecom giants Huawei and China Mobile had earlier announced they had installed 5G antennas at the base camp at the height of around 6,500 meters and at the lower base camp, at 5,300 meters and at 5,800 meters to help the survey.


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