NCP hints at possible US-China confrontation in Nepal

Published On: December 16, 2019 06:50 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 16: The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has indicated that a regional confrontation has started in South Asia including in Nepal due to conflicting strategies adopted by the world superpower, the USA, and China, which challenges the US dominance, to advance their strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Such a concern has been expressed in a political report presented by the party’s chairmen duo KP Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal at the party’s standing committee meeting that kicked off Sunday after a gap of a year.

“The Belt and Road Initiative introduced by China and the Indo-Pacific Strategy of America are competing against each other in recent days,” reads an 11-page political dossier tabled at the standing committee meeting, “America’s wish to continue its influence as world superpower, and China’s strategy to develop itself as the center of world economy and power by challenging America have dominated world politics.”

The document states “the Sino-American rivalry has posed both challenges and opportunities for the South Asian countries including Nepal, whose geopolitical existence is sensitive.”  

Concerned over a probable Sino-American rivalry in the region, the party has stressed the need for Nepal considering its geopolitically sensitive location, to develop a balanced relation with both China and India while safeguarding its own national interests and building an independent and self-reliant economy. 

Under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant, the USA has agreed to provide $500 million to Nepal for various projects over a five-year period.  China has likewise pledged various grants for nine projects under the BRI. 

This year, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Nepal. During his Nepal visit held in a gap of two decades, China pledged to provide financial assistance worth Rs 56 billion to Nepal over a period of two years.

Meanwhile, the Oli-Dahal document has expressed its serious concerns over the political map released by the Indian Home Ministry. The map has placed the Nepali territories of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura within the Indian border.

In its political document the party has stated that Kalapani and Limpiyadhura are Nepali territories as per the Sugauli Treaty. The party has demanded that the Indian security forces occupying the Nepali territories should be removed. 

“Efforts to correct the map, take back the Nepali territories and remove the Indian troops from the Nepali territory have already started. Our party firmly believes that Limpiyadhura is the origin of the Mahakali River as stated in the Sugauli Treaty,” states the report. 

The political report jointly presented by the chairmen duo has revised various aspects of domestic and regional politics. 

Interestingly, the document presented by the chairmen duo, one of whom is himself leading the government, has criticized the government for failing to work as per people’s expectations especially on corruption control and service delivery fronts.  

The report has asked the government to take public complaints seriously and work hard to deliver on the election promises. Citing the example of Guthi bill, the report has advised the government to consult the experts and stakeholders while drafting crucial bills.

With regard to the party’s loss of a few local and provincial seats in the recent by-election, the report has stressed the need for better organization of the party.  

Although the party was formed by merging two influential communist parties — CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist), the party’s local organizations have yet to be merged effectively.  The report states that the party has lost   eight seats of local and provincial governments in the by-elections.

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