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Beijing sends another high profile delegation to Nepal

IANS | Last Updated: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 16:24

Kathmandu: A third high profile delegation from China has arrived here following the defeat of the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) in the Himalayan nation`s Constituent Assembly elections last month.

The 14-member delegation led by Ai Ping, vice minister in the international department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and point man for South Asia, arrived in Kathmandu Tuesday night on a political mission.

The visiting delegation has expressed concern over the future political course of Nepal following the defeat of the UCPN-M in the Nov 19 elections, sought taming of anti-China activities from Nepali soil and called for political reconciliation among Nepali political actors so that peace is ensured and a constitution finalised.

Starting with a meeting with UCPN-M chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda that lasted two hours Wednesday, Ai suggested to the Maoist leadership they should not desist from the constitution drafting process.

The defeat of the Maoist party in the recent elections has came as a serious blow to Beijing as it had started cosying up to the Maoist leadership after it emerged as the largest party in the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections.

Calculating that the Maoists would again emerge as the largest party in the 2013 elections, Beijing invited Prachanda and gave him royal treatment ahead of the polls.

Prachanda also met Chinese President Xi Jingping, becoming the first South Asian leader to meet the newly appointed Chinese President immediately after his elevation to the post.

After the humiliating defeat in the Nov 19 Constituent Assembly polls, Prachanda had warned that his party might skip the assembly and would not take part in the constitution drafting process if some of their demands were not fulfilled, including a probe into alleged vote rigging that led to the defeat of the party which stood a distant third after Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML).

At Wednesday`s meeting, Ai also wanted to know how the inter-party talks were moving ahead on the issue of power sharing. He was also curious to know how the UCPN-M stood a distant third in the recent polls.

Ai suggested to Prachanda to build his party first so that it can be seen as a communist party.

Nepal`s stability and the issue of Tibetan refugees remain core concerns for China as Nepal is home to more than 20,000 Tibetan refugees.

Nepal shares a more than 1,400-km-long border with Tibet and China has been pressing Kathmandu to curb anti-China activities.

China has also given various kinds of military, security and developmental assistance to Nepal in recent times.

The Chinese leader will also be meeting leaders of other major political parties during his four-day stay here and will try to understand the political positions of major parties whose involvement is key to restoring peace and the constitution in Nepal.

First Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 16:24
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