China and India play tug-of-war over Nepal

Tibetan prayer flags hang between snowy peaks
The mountainous border between Nepal and China. Photo: Xinhua/Tashi Tsering via Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Nepal on Friday intent on keeping the small South Asian country away from China's grasp.

The big picture: Nepal is located between the two Asian giants. It has historically been closer to India, a fellow Hindu-majority country with which it shares deep cultural and economic ties. But India is worried that Chinese investment is causing its neighbor’s loyalties to shift.