What Happened: The government of Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli has cut the number of proposed projects it will pursue under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from 35 to 9 at Beijing's request, The Kathmandu Post reported Jan. 18.
Why It Matters: Nepal signed onto the BRI in 2017 as part of its efforts to increase ties with China. However, Kathmandu has struggled to execute its projects under the BRI, which has led Beijing to moderate the initiative in Nepal.
Background: Nepal is a buffer state squeezed between India and China and has traditionally had closer relations with New Delhi. However, Oli, who was critical of India during his 2017 election campaign, wants to diversify his landlocked country's relations by building ties with Beijing.