China-India relations: could Beijing agreeing a new height for Everest with Kathmandu stir up tensions?

China-India relations: could Beijing agreeing a new height for Everest with Kathmandu stir up tensions?

The announcement of a new height for Mount Everest may have settled a long-running dispute between China and Nepal, but observers say it also sends a signal about Beijing’s rising influence in South Asia, which is set to cause more unease in India.

While the Indian government has been silent since the adjusted height of the world’s highest peak was announced on Tuesday, former Indian diplomats and observers say the move is a reminder of the challenges New Delhi faces in maintaining its influence in Kathmandu.

“The fact they jointly announced it … shows that they [China and Nepal] wanted to demonstrate that theirs was a very strong relationship,” said Ranjit Rae, a former Indian ambassador to Nepal.

The announcement showed “new dimensions” were emerging in the China-Nepal relationship and their ties were “certainly growing”, which was a message for India, he said.