Yang Houlan (former Nepal Ambassador)

Yang Houlan

Ambassador to Myanmar


Former Ambassador to Nepal, where there is increasing pressure on the Tibetan population and new refugees. Re-called in January 2013.


Pronunciation: Yahng Hoe (as in toe) -Lan soundbite
Born: Not Known
Education: Has an “advanced degree from an American University (name of University is not known). Speaks English.
Career: China’s Ambassador to Nepal June 2011 – January 2013 (recalled early). A career diplomat with postings in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and S Korea. A Regional Security expert.
Prospects: One of China’s senior diplomats but considered a failure in Nepal. Re-assigned to Myanmar in March 2013
Relevance to Tibet: None currently.

Standing in the Party and Career Highlights:

Yang took up post as China’s Ambassador to Nepal on 20 June 2011. In January 2013 Nepali media reported that Yang was being recalled to Beijing before the end of his 3-year tenure, to be replaced by Wu Chuntai. His new position, announced March 2013, is Myanmar (Burma)(Republica writes that Wu Chuntai currently oversees security interests in Tibet, Xinxiang, Tibet and Taiwan, as the deputy director of Department of External Security Affairs under the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Yang Houlan is a career diplomat, described as one of China’s most senior diplomats. His previous roles include:
– (Regional) Security expert at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (dates not known)
– Served in China’s Seoul and Pyongyang embassies
– China’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (dates not known)
– China’s Ambassador to Afghanistan March 2007 to April 2009
– China’s Special Envoy for Korean Peninsula Affairs from December 2009 – 2011, thereby dealing with Six Party Talks.

Quotations By/Comments About:

  • Speech at a reception to mark the 60th Anniversary of what China calls the “peaceful liberation” of Tibet, 14 July 2011. “The Chinese embassy in Nepal will put the well-being of Tibetans in Nepal in mind. We will implement the policy of “put people at first, diplomacy serves people” and make efforts to safeguard the legal rights and interests of overseas Tibetans.” [Speech in Full]
  • Interview with Greatway Magazine, September 2011 “In recent years, some Tibetan separatists in Nepal, who want to separate Tibet from China, attempted to implement several anti-China activities within Nepalese territory. However, thanks to the strong control of Nepalese Government, their separatist attempts have been repeatedly defeated. Successive Nepalese Governments have repeatedly stated in public that they would adhere to the One China Policy and never allow any forces to conduct anti-China activities on its soil. The Chinese side highly appreciates the unwavering support which Nepalese side has provided to China on the issue of sovereignty and in the fight against separatist forces.”
  • Hindustan Times, June 2011: Yang is seen as a peace advocate and someone who wants China to maintain cordial relations with all countries in the region so as not to harm the country’s rapid economic growth.
  • Kathmandu Post, June 2011: Addressing Chinese officials, while he was still Ambassador in Afghanistan, Yang stressed on “political mutual trust and harmonious coexistence… resolving differences through dialogue”. As the largest developing country in the world, China, he said, is committed to peaceful development. “It’s not expedient. Rather, it is a long-term and strategic foreign policy China follows.” A more prosperous and open China, he argued, would bring huge opportunities to the world and particularly its neighbours and make greater contribution to peace, both in the region and in the wider world.


There are at least 20,000 Tibetans in Nepal. Nepal supports the ‘one-China policy’ that views Tibet as an integral part of China. It has repeatedly assured China that it will not allow its territory to be used for anti- Beijing activities. In 2010, Nepal police seized ballot boxes being used by Tibetans to vote for a new Kalon Tripa and Members of the Tibetan Parliament in exile. Tibetans were additionally prevented from voting in March 2011. Nepalese police have also cracked down significantly on demonstrations by Tibetans, using violence to break up peaceful protests and arresting perceived ring-leaders, heedless of the law. In July 2011, the Supreme Court of Nepal had to order the release of a group of 12 Tibetans after finding that the 20 days they had spent in detention was “without reasonable explanation… and that said detention is illegal,” according to court documents obtained by the International Campaign for Tibet.

Nepal is also the first destination for Tibetan refugees fleeing the repression in Tibet. Annually until 2008 between 2,500 and 3,500 Tibetans crossed the Himalayas into exile; since the post-2008 crackdown these numbers have dropped annually to between 800 and 900 in both 2009 and 2010. In 2010 Three Tibetans were forcibly returned to Tibet by helicopter, accompanied by a Nepalese politician and policeman. Although the US government offered to take in about 5,000 of the most vulnerable Tibetan refugees, Nepal put the request on hold after China said it would be tantamount to interfering in China’s internal affairs. The Obama administration recently sent Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Kelly Clements to Nepal to urge the Jhala Nath Khanal government to issue IDs to Tibetan refugees in Nepal as well as respect their basis rights and allow them safe passage to India. See “Dangerous Crossing” by the International Campaign for Tibet (2010 update) for more details.

With India also having named Special Secretary (Public Diplomacy) in the External Affairs Ministry, Jayant Prasad, as the new ambassador to Nepal, the Nepali media has begun speculating that in the days to come, with both its giant neighbours according priority to Nepal, the tiny republic will feel the squeeze.

According to The Himalayan Times, the choice of Yang Houlan is based on serious consideration over Tibet issues. The Times of India reported on June 18 that three of Yang’s predecessors, Sun Heping, Zheng Xianglin and Qiu Guohong had seen an escalation in anti-China protests in Nepal by Tibetan protesters but had been unable to stop them and had therefore been recalled.

Yang Houlan’s Contact Information:

  • Address: (Was) Baluwatar, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Website: www.chinaembassy.org.np/09/
  • Phone: +977-1-4419389, Embassy 24 hour cellphone +977-9851071888
  • Fax: +977-1-4414045
  • Email: chinaemb_np@mfa.gov.cn

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1 Response to Yang Houlan (former Nepal Ambassador)

  1. editor says:

    Read an interview with Yang Houlan in the Kathmandu Post, 4 July 2011: http://www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2011/07/03/oped/monday-interview/223581.html, and an article in the Hindustan Times, 24 July 2011, “Chinese envoy paints rosy picture of Tibet” http://www.hindustantimes.com/Chinese-envoy-paints-rosy-picture-of-Tibet/Article1-725000.aspx

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