Nepal is becoming a Client State of the People’s Republic of China. Xi Jinping is using Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. Kathmandu has already risked its ties with a democratic New Delhi at the cost of pandering to a Communist regime in Beijing. But India is not the only country that Kathmandu is burning bridges with.
Nepal is souring ties with all democratic countries in the world, only in order to appease an autocratic China. Now, Kathmandu is souring ties with Washington, or is in fact severing them in order to make China happy.
The ruling Nepal Communist Party recently held a meeting to discuss a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant worth 500 million US Dollars to the landlocked Himalayan country. China had also pledged $500 million to the nation counter US aid, which the Oli government seems to accept gladly.
The ruling party is divided over the US aid- the vocal opponents of the grant argue that the aid programme is a part of Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy to limit Beijing’s influence in the region.
According to WION, The pro-China faction opposing the grant has an outrageous reason to demand that Oli government gives up the infrastructure development aid. They say that the grant would anger China, and therefore undermine Nepal’s sovereignty.
Yes, this makes a lot of sense- Nepal is headed towards becoming a Chinese colony, and if China’s interests in Kathmandu are hit, then it might thwart the Dragon’s ambitions of making a colony out of the Himalayan nation.
Nepal wants to compromise on crucial infrastructure development that the American aid could have funded, because the Communist leadership doesn’t want American money.
Washington had committed $500 million against a $130 million contribution from Nepal for a 400-kilovolt power transmission line and the upgrade of 300-kilometres of roads in the Southeastern part of the country.
India has close, people-to-people ties with Nepal yet Kathmandu allowed China to take over the Nepal government, much to New Delhi’s anguish.
Nepal is also raking up border disputes at the instance of China, and hampering India’s strategic position. China is guiding Nepal’s bilateral ties with a strong hand, and that doesn’t violate Nepal’s sovereignty. But American aid violates Kathmandu’s sovereignty.
At a functional level, China is playing brutal games in the Himalayan country. Last year, Xi Jinping had promised visited Nepal and had promised 500 million dollars in aid to the country, matching American aid.
The Communist regime in Nepal is more than willing to put the ideology of Maoism above their country’s sovereignty.
Before Jinping’s visit to Nepal last year, Nepalese leaders attended a training programme on Xi Jinping’s ideology. Kathmandu remains a Constitutional democracy of sorts, and thus the leadership had to realign itself to the autocratic ways of Beijing.
This year, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal interfered deeply in the internal matters of Kathmandu, averting an imminent split in the ruling Communist party which would have meant curtains for KP Sharma Oli.
Now, Kathmandu wishes to isolate itself from the democratic world and make itself purely a Client State of China. But Oli probably doesn’t understand that he is making a huge mistake, which his future generations are going to regret bitterly.
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Nepalese economy is in doldrums, and Beijing relishes such countries. If the Oli government thinks that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will resurrect its economy, then it is grossly mistaken.
Nepal should understand that getting itself debt-trapped is not going to help its cause. China’s influence in countries that accept BRI goes far beyond just economic imperialism and corruption.
Kathmandu is dishing out its sovereignty to China by destroying ties with representatives of the democratic world- India and the United States. And Oli is making himself the biggest villain of an impending disaster in Nepal.