China now heads four of the UN’s 15 Specialized Agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Telecommunication Union, United Nations Industrial Development, and International Civil Aviation Organization. As the US suspended funding to the WHO in 2020, China promised $2 billion to fight the pandemic. The Economist writes “any retreat by America from global leadership is an opportunity for China.”
The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban carries enormous consequences for South Asia and beyond. Destabilization could start from there with Afghanistan once again becoming a safe haven for extremists working with their counterparts across the border in Pakistan. Developments in Afghanistan could significantly shift the balance of power and deepen the rivalry between the US and China.
Irrespective of the changes in the international landscape over the past many years, Nepal and China have shown the friendliest behavior toward each other. They have supported each other and carried out development cooperation for mutual benefit.
Given the state of affairs since December 20, 2020 - the date of the first dissolution of the House of Representatives - the lack of constitutional norms and political morality and the character of leadership to bypass everything that becomes inconvenient for power grab, where is the leadership taking the country?
“Even as we are withdrawing our force, we are not disengaging from Afghanistan. We are remaining deeply engaged in diplomacy, in support for the Afghan government and its people, development economic assistance, humanitarian assistance, and support for the security forces.”
It has been a consistent policy of Nepal not to make comments on the internal matters of any country and Nepal wants other countries not to show unnecessary concerns on its internal affairs. However, Nepal’s reiteration of its fundamental principles of foreign policy as enshrined in Article 50, 51 (1, m) of the Constitution which states conducting an independent foreign policy based on the Charter of the United Nations, non-alignment, principles of Panchsheel, and international law among others, has been uncompromising.
Strategic culture, Professor Colin S Gray says, “rests primarily upon the interpretation of history and history’s geography.” In September 1949, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference met in its first session in Beijing to make final preparations to declare the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. It adopted the Common Program stating: “The principle of the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China is protection of the independence, freedom, integrity of territory and sovereignty of the country, upholding of lasting international peace and friendly cooperation between the people of all countries, and opposition to the imperialist policy of aggression and war.”
While declaring the September 15 as the international day of democracy, the United Nations stated that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the people.” As democracy is about consulting, caring and comforting people, the job of any government is to protect people, improve their quality of life in larger freedom giving a sense of ownership in governance.
The Indian External Affairs Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar is arriving in Kathmandu today to co-chair the fifth meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission (JC) that was established in 1987. Welcome to Nepal! According to a press release issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, the JC will review overall state of bilateral relations, and various areas of cooperation such as connectivity and economic partnership, trade and transit, water resource sectors, culture, education and other matters of mutual interests. JC was revived after a gap of over two decades in 2014 and the third meeting was held in Kathmandu in July 2014.