India at the crossroads

September 9, 2020 09:57 am

In this unprecedented time of international politics, when the strategic pendulum swings towards the Indo-Pacific region and the US emphasizes partnership with India, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone asks what India’s grand strategy is. Although some even doubt whether India actually has a grand strategy, as a rising power with almost 1.38 billion populations, the Indian grand strategy would be a matter of great interest not only to the small and big states in the region but also to great powers and the global community.

A bipartisan US Congressional delegation led by Representative Ami Bera, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s (HFAC) Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, was in Nepal earlier this week. The four-member delegation that included Representative George Holding, Member of the House Ways & Means Committee; Staff Director at the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation Nikole Burroughs and Senior Professional Staff Member at HFAC Sajit Gandhi held meetings with government officials, civil society leaders, staff at the US Embassy, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation among others. On the sideline of their visit to Nepal, Nagarik Daily’s Guna Raj Luitel and Republica’s Kosh Raj Koirala talked to Ami Bera to learn more about US foreign policy on Nepal, latest controversies about the MCC and other issues pertaining to the Nepal-US relations. Excerpts:

NCP seeks consensus on MCC

January 31, 2020 08:27 am

KATHMANDU, Jan 31: As the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) continues to be divide over the $500 million US grant, party leaders have stressed the need for a common understanding whether to endorse or reject it, before it gets tabled in parliament.

KATHMANDU, Jan 28: A central committee meeting of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is starting from Wednesday, with all eyes on how the ruling party will deal with some thorny issues, including the party’s position on the $500 million MCC grant being dangled by the USA.

On IPS and MCC

January 12, 2020 09:32 am

The United States describes its Indo-Pacific strategy as “an ironclad and enduring commitment to” a region that spans from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian subcontinent. But while reading between the lines, the concept of Indo-Pacific gained momentum during 2000s when Chinese maritime expansion started to challenge United State’s primacy in the Western Pacific.

KATHMANDU, Dec 7: Stating that the vision of the Indo-Pacific strategy is clear and a compelling one, visiting US Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver has said that they welcome any chance to clarify any confusions that may exist about this strategy.

KATHMANDU, Dec 5: Visiting United States' Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall G. Schriver held separate meetings with Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Chief of the Army Staff Purna Chandra Thapa on Thursday.

KATHMANDU, Oct 18: Information minister and government spokesperson Gokul Baskota has said that the strategic partnership mentioned in the joint statement during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn’t reflect the military cooperation between Nepal and China.

KATHMANDU, Sept 16: Chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who earlier courted controversy by saying Nepal disapproves of the US-backed Indo-Pacific Strategy, said that Nepal has stood in favor of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by China as it promises shared prosperity for all.

Sharp division in NCP over Dahal's remark

September 13, 2019 08:40 am

KATHMANDU, Sept 13: A sharp division has surfaced in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) over the remark on the US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy made by Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal during his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Dahal had reportedly told Wang that Nepal “disapproves of the so-called Indo-Pacific strategy”.

KATHMANDU, Sept 12: Minister for Information and Communications Gokul Baskota has said that the government's stance on the China-led Belt and Road Initiative and United States-led Indo-Pacific Strategy has remained unchanged.

KATHMANDU, Sept 12: Chairman of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has courted controversy yet again after his name surfaced in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry of China on Tuesday in which Dahal was quoted as saying that Nepal disapproved the Indo-Pacific Strategy unveiled by the United States.

KATHMANDU, July 1: Dismissing suggestions by a section of opinion makers and politicians that Nepal had chosen to be a part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy under the US-led military alliance, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali has clarified that Nepal’s participation in both Indo-Pacific Strategy and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are not guided by any strategic considerations.

KATHMANDU, June 3: Allaying concerns from various quarters that Nepal has already fallen into the US-led strategic military alliance as part of its Indo-Pacific Strategy, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said on Sunday that Nepal does not intend to be part of any such pact that gives an impression of strategic military alliance.

KATHMANDU, June 2: The United States said on Saturday that it is now seeking to expand a defense relationship with Nepal under the framework of its Indo-Pacific Strategy.

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KATHMANDU, June 1: The United States said on Saturday that it is now seeking to expand defense relationship with Nepal under the framework of the Indo-Pacific Strategy.

KATHMANDU, April 4: Dai Yonghong, professor at China Center for South Asia Studies of Sichuan University, has expressed hope that Nepal will not join the US-initiated Indo-Pacific Strategy that is widely seen as a measure to contain the rise of China.

KATHMANDU, March 13: Security and foreign policy experts from various countries in various South Asian countries said the newly-unveiled Indo-Pacific strategy by the US could pose threats to smaller states if this is pursued as security architecture.

KATHMANDU, Feb 17: Former army chief Gaurav SJB Rana has said that the Indo-Pacific strategy floated by the USA is purely driven by strategic considerations.

Dec 22: 6 things to know by 6 PM today

December 22, 2018 18:00 pm

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