Chinese envoy Hou-NCP affinity: Isn’t it time to say ‘no’ to external panacea?

Ishwar Dev Khanal

July 8, 2020


Chinese envoy Hou-NCP affinity: Isn’t it time to say ‘no’ to external panacea?

Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi (File Photo).

KATHMANDU: Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi is the talk of the town with her soaring popularity owing to her frantic moves and ‘inspiring’ factor to forfend near-split of Nepal’s ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

She reportedly has easy access to all places, particularly the NCP top guns, including the Prime Minister.

Doesn’t Ambassador Yanqi’s recent hectic meetings with NCP top brass prove her high-handedness to vitalize and comfort the party leaders? Perhaps, quite a few may differ while others give a silent nod.

Now, this is quite evident that the China and NCP enjoy strategic relations.

The stamina that she has exhibited in Kathmandu is a clear reflection of the depth of the interference in Nepal’s internal politics.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi (L) with Prime Minister KP Oli. (File Photo/MoFA)

Consider this: Had Ambassador Yanqi not made a frantic, bold and challenging move in May and earlier this week by holding talks with NCP top guns, including NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister KP Oli, senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, the situation, perhaps, would have been tricky for the ruling party, which was on the verge of a split.

In fact, the Chinese Ambassador’s efforts were seen as a move to ‘shield and manage’ the NCP amid heightened intra-party rift – particularly between Prime Minister Oli and Chairman Dahal at a time when the latter faction was hell-bent on ousting Oli both from the premiership and party chairman.

But the split has been averted twice and the credit goes to none other than Chinese Ambassador Yanqi.

Now comes the widely-used terminologies — ‘micro-management’ and ‘foreign intervention’ — in Nepali politics particularly when political parties used to allege India for interfering in Nepal’s internal politics.

If her recent moves are to be analyzed, it seems that Chinese Ambassador Yanqi is endeavoring to exert her influence in Nepal’s internal politics, especially the NCP.

Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi (C) meets with NCP senior leader Jhalanath Khanal. (File Photo)

The question is: Are the leaders of the ruling NCP prepared to acknowledge this allegation when it comes to the Chinese Ambassador’s moves? Perhaps not. If this is the case, isn’t this an intervention?

Observers have to note for how long will Chinese maneuvering help keep the NCP intact.

Now consider what Ambassador Yanqi had said recently soon after the training program on ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ organized by the NCP: “China will never seek to export its ideology to any country.”

Refuting the allegations of conspiracy theory, she had said China’s policy will not change and that they are consistent in their policy of not interfering in other countries’ internal affairs.

If so, China needs to stick to its ‘non-interference’ policy when it comes to Nepal’s internal politics.

The high-voltage drama — influenced and shaped by internal factors and averted by external element — shows the extent of breakdown and lack of unity in the party snubbing the cadres’ resilience and determination.

Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi (R) with NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. (File Photo)

This becomes evident that there is a lingering suspicion that the party is sure to split if someone like Ambassador Yanqi prefers to remain idle and let go of things their way.

If this continues, Nepal, undoubtedly, will become a battlefield of external interference as the failure to reach consensus among the NCP leaders could lead to serious implications.

Moreover, such a tendency of acquiescing external panacea could widen the cracks in Nepal’s political parties.

Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi with NCP senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. (File Photo)

The NCP leaders should understand that this is not the right moment to share the political cake at the behest of external powers. It’s all about creating an environment for development and prosperity, and to fulfill the promises made in the election manifesto.

Parties in Nepal need to do away with all conspiracy theories, and should refrain from being a puppet of any foreign forces. The right choice would be to be able to make decisions themselves.

If the ruling party remains busy in power politics, significant issues are sure to be overshadowed. Therefore, the time is to say ‘no’ to external panacea, come what may!