The main purpose of Wang Yi’s recent visit was to rally Beijing’s proxies to counter India’s growing influence.
As India’s relations with Nepal get back on track, top-level Chinese attempts to rally the Himalayan kingdom have accelerated with the recent visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who also happens to be the state councilor of the country. Sources within the external branch of India’s security apparatus confirmed to the Sunday Guardian that during his recent visit to Kathmandu, Wang Yi worked on his program against India and tried to bring friendly parties together. Chinese in the run up to the general elections in Nepal. An official familiar with the developments said, “China has been trying to regain lost ground in Nepal thanks to the visit of its State Councilor. The visit was the first high-level diplomatic contact between the two sides since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit in October 2019.”
Multiple sources confirmed that the Chinese foreign minister held separate meetings with rival factions of the Nepalese Communist Party and stressed the need for them to work together to achieve common interests, which effectively means serving Chinese interests. During his visit, Wang Yi did not meet many other major political parties in Nepal. Speaking to the Sunday Guardian from Kathmandu, former Nepali Deputy Prime Minister Rajendra Mahato said: “No, the Chinese foreign minister or the delegation that came to Nepal did not meet anyone from our party. The Loktantrik Samajwadi Party of Mahato, Nepal is the sixth largest political party in the country.
“What we have understood so far is that the message from the Chinese leadership is that the rival factions of the Communist Party of Nepal must unite, so that a pro-China government can be formed in the upcoming elections. Even before President Xi Jinping’s visit about three years ago, the Chinese had worked hard and successfully to unify the Communist Party of Nepal, and then we saw what Prime Minister Oli’s approach was and how he played the game. of the Chinese,” said an official working with an Indian security agency and closely following the development said. After the Oli-led government came to power, India‘s relations with Nepal reached a high historically low and China got assurances from Kathmandu that it would support Beijing on its main concerns like Taiwan and Tibet.Furthermore, the Oli government has made a clear commitment to Nepal’s participation. al to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “Through the Foreign Minister’s visit, the Chinese have also tried to test neutral voices in Kathmandu and how that might bring them to Beijing’s side in the long run,” the official added.
Many believe there is frustration in China with Nepal due to two recent developments. Despite numerous strategic investments over the past decade, the Chinese failed to prevent passage of a $550 million grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US foreign aid agency by the Nepalese parliament. This had disturbed the Chinese. When the Oli government was in place, Beijing was sure that it would not only corner India, but also prevent Nepal from getting a subsidy from the western world, but as the MCC was adopted, the Chinese are redefining their movements in Nepal and Wang Yi’s visit was the start of a new attempt by Beijing to influence domestic politics in Nepal.
“We have information that during meetings with the Nepalese government, the Chinese delegation has repeatedly stressed its economic superiority and pressured Nepal to sign more agreements related to the ‘Belt Initiative’. and the Road” (BRI), but the Nepalese side declined it as they wanted. projects under grant, while BRI projects are based on one-off loans,” the official added. Political parties that support the government and public opinion in Nepal are also opposed to any project based on loans.
“Nepal is a poor country. We want grant-based aid like the one India has been providing to us for a long time or something like MCC, which is a grant-based project,” added Mahato, the country’s former deputy prime minister.