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Nepal Elections | China pushes Kathmandu's Left to keep US at bay

The Chinese concern is that the stronger presence of the US and other major powers such as European countries and Japan in Nepal, together with India, may give a fresh lease of life to the somewhat dormant Tibetan movement

November 30, 2022 / 10:58 AM IST
A man casts his vote during the general election, in Kathmandu, Nepal on November 20, 2022. (Image: REUTERS)

A man casts his vote during the general election, in Kathmandu, Nepal on November 20, 2022. (Image: REUTERS)

The Chinese are closely following the recent Nepalese election. The last few months saw China carrying out back-to-back high-level exchanges with Nepal. In March 2022, days after the Nepalese parliament ratified the much-debated United States (US) Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC) Compact, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid a state visit to Kathmandu and expounded on China’s “Three Supports” for Nepal in terms of “blazing a development path suited to its national conditions, … in pursuing independent domestic and foreign policies… and in participating in Belt and Road cooperation to a greater extent”.

Following this, the Nepalese Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka paid a three-day visit to China from August 9-11, 2022 at the invitation of Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi where the “One China” principle, Belt and Road Initiative figured prominently.

From 12th to 15th September, Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, paid an official goodwill visit to Nepal where he met President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, along with the chiefs of various communist parties including KP Sharma Oli of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist, Pushpa Kamal Dahal of the Maoist Party, and the presiding officers of both houses of parliament (Nepal House of Representatives Speaker, Agni Prasad Sapkota and Timir Sina, Chairman of the Nepalese Federal House) who also belong to the communist parties. Finally, only a few days before the Nepal election, reportedly despite Nepal’s reticence, a delegation led by the Chinese Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism, Li Qun, paid a five-day visit to Nepal.

Diplomatic Outreach by China