As Nepal heads into yet another political crisis after PM KP Sharma Oli recommended to dissolve the parliament and hold fresh elections, promptly accepted by the President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari, alarm bells have started ringing in China as their efforts to prevent the Oli government from falling has gone to waste. A rattled China is now blaming the Indian media for “driving a wedge between China and Southeast Asian countries”.
In the Xi Jinping’s parallel world, the Indian media is to blame for the downfall of the Oli government. Chinese propaganda outlet, Global Times in its opinion editorial on how the rift within the Nepalese Communist Party would shroud the nation with political instability, the outlet wrote, “When Hindustan Times newspaper covered this news, it tried hard to connect the situation with China, noting that this situation “also hurts China”. It also accused China of interfering in Nepal’s domestic affairs and with the Communist Party’s internal disputes.”
It added, “The publication seems to have a long-term tactic to drive a wedge between China and Southeast Asian countries. China does not interfere in Nepal’s domestic affairs – or any country’s for that matter.”
Now, the fact that in its article on Nepal’s politics, Global Times sought to mention the Indian media, clearly indicates that China is indeed rattled by the development as its months of hard work in Nepal lies in tatters. It knows that India had a key role to play in this latest development.
Global Times wrote, “The Indian media often provoke China-Nepal relations, but this will not send big waves. Politicians in Nepal well understand the importance of cooperating with China. The wedge-driving manoeuvres by some Indian media are bound to fail.”
It seems that China is using Indian media as a shield as it cannot directly blame the Indian government. For the uninitiated, after it seemed like Nepal was on its way to become the latest client state of China, Indian diplomacy worked overtime to restrict Chinese influence in Nepal.
PM Oli removed his pro-China Defence minister which was followed by the visits of Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shringla, Army Chief General Narvane with the RAW Chief Samant Kumar Goel meeting Oli in October.
The trio of visits had caught China by surprise and it will not be far-fetched to say that in the diplomatic game of chess that Nepal is, India has resoundingly beaten China which has allowed the Global Times yet another opportunity to whine about India’s growing influence.