Beijing is building a rail-line connecting Lhasa and Gyirong in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China with Kathmandu. Beijing offered Kathmandu to help build the rail-line as a part of BRI.

India has given a tepid response to China’s proposal for constructing a trans-Himalayan economic corridor connecting the two countries and Nepal as the government is more keen on working bilaterally with Nepal on infrastructure and connectivity projects.

People familiar with the developments told ET that Delhi is likely to convey its view to both Beijing and Kathmandu soon.

During his visit to Kathmandu on May 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to tell his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli that his government will continue to support development of Nepal through bilateral cooperation and not through any mechanism involving a third country.

Modi had hosted Oli in Delhi earlier this month. The visit saw Delhi promising to support construction of a rail-link between India and the capital of Nepal. India also agreed to support the landlocked country get access to the oceans through inland waterways.

The proposal for a trilateral economic corridor was mooted by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi after a meeting with his Nepalese foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali in Beijing last Wednesday.

Wang, who also holds the office of the state councillor, had said that China, Nepal and India were “natural friends and partners” as they were neighbours to each other and “connected by mountains and rivers”.

He said that China and India should have a consensus on supporting development of Nepal, noting that Nepal had a “reasonable and justifiable” desire to serve as the “bridge and bond” between India and China. He went on to hint that the prospects of China-Nepal-India economic corridor can be explored as a future extension of Chinese President Xi Jinping's belt-and-road initiative (BRI).

Beijing is building a rail-line connecting Lhasa and Gyirong in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China with Kathmandu. Beijing offered Kathmandu to help build the rail-line as a part of BRI.

Delhi is opposed to BRI, including its flagship China-Pakistan economic corridor or the CPEC, which seeks to link Kashgar in Xinjiang in northwestern China with a deep sea port at Gwadar in Baluchistan in southwestern Pakistan via Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 

India on Tuesday was not party to the SCO Foreign Ministers declaration on BRI and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj listed India's connectivity projects across regions.

Meanwhile, in an article published in the Chinese media ahead of Modi-Xi summit in Wuhan, China’s envoy to India Luo Zhaohui in an apparent reference to US-led trade protectionism wrote, "From an international perspective, the global and strategic significance of Sino-Indian relations has become increasingly prominent. As the largest developing country and an important emerging market country, China and India are both facing the pressure of maintaining great powers and exploring ways to get along with neighbouring emerging market big countries. Under the background of anti-globalisation and trade protectionism, the leaders of China and India are enamoured with each other and sing the strong voice of the era of economic globalisation and free trade, which is conducive to strengthening the solidarity and cooperation of developing countries and safeguarding world fairness and justice."

"With regard to the Sino-Indian relations, we should aim for a lofty future, base ourselves on the present, maintain a reasonable expectation, and be optimistic. We must make good use of the five ‘crafts’, that is, the strategy to lead the ‘navigator’, pragmatic cooperation ‘accelerator’, humanities cooperation ‘booster’, multilateral cooperation ‘colour enhancer’ to control the ‘stabiliser’. The boat of Sino-Indian friendship is ready to go and sail. Let us jointly look forward to the informal meeting between the leaders of the two countries in Wuhan," he suggested.