Tue, 16 Aug 2022

Kathmandu [Nepal], July 14 (ANI): Recently, the head of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Liu Jianchao visited Nepal, which is seen as Beijing's bid to push for unity or to forge an alliance among the Nepali Communist Parties.

Liu, who arrived in Nepal on Sunday, held talks with former Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. He paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and held talks with Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka, The Kathmandu Post reported.

On Monday, he met with CPN (Maoist Centre) chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Liu is scheduled to call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday before wrapping up his Nepal visit.

This time, it seems the Chinese have returned to their old strategy of gaining the confidence of all sides and engaging with all political groups, according to a Maoist leader.

The experts said that while it is natural for CPC leaders to maintain close relations with Nepali communist parties, Liu's visit this time also sends a message that it is not averse to having ties with the Congress, which Beijing views as a more America-friendly party.

During his meeting with Dahal on Monday, Liu said that China respects the decision taken by Nepali leaders, the government, and political parties, according to Narayan Kaji Shrestha, head of the Maoist Centre's international department, according to The Kathmandu Post.

"They did voice their concerns that Nepal should be cautious while taking assistance or developmental projects so as not to harm China's interest," said Shrestha.

Liu also raised issues including the US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy during the meeting with Maoist leaders.

"The US had declared its policy through the Indo-Pacific Strategy that it aims to contain China. So they urged us to remain cautious while dealing with such policies of a third country that can have serious consequences for China," said Shrestha.

The publication citing three communist leaders reported that the Chinese side did not push much for unity among the communist parties of Nepal.

Rajeshwar Acharya, a former Nepali ambassador to China, said that this visit entails at least three components--geopolitical shifts, Beijing's renewed interest in Nepal, and its security concerns, reported The Kathmandu Post.

"Growing American activities in Nepal are a cause for concern for the Chinese," said Acharya. "The Chinese may be thinking that it would be difficult for Nepal to avoid American engagements. They are flying into Kathmandu to remind us of the presence of Nepal's all-weather friend in the north."Also, according to Acharya, since Liu's visit is taking place ahead of the elections, obviously the Chinese are keen to bring the leftist forces together in their quest for a reliable political force in Nepal.

Liu's delegation is arguably the first from China to visit the BP Museum, named after BP Koirala, the Nepali Congress' revolutionary, in Sundarijal, on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Acharya said this also shows that the Chinese want to work closely with the Nepali Congress, The Kathmandu Post reported.

Above all, Beijing wants assurances from Kathmandu that its legitimate security concerns must not be compromised by any actions of the Nepal government and political parties, according to Acharya.

Some experts believe the Chinese delegation wanted to assess the possibility of unity among Nepali communist forces and also send a message to the Congress that they are comfortable working with it. (ANI)

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