Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin. (File photo)
KATHMANDU: China has accused the United States of employing “coercive diplomacy” against Nepal to pass the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact.
At a regular press briefing in Beijing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin protested what it said “coercive diplomacy” by the US in Nepal and said, “China will support the Nepali side in making the right choice that conforms to national interests and reflect the will of the people,” referring to MCC.
Spokesperson Wenbin said so in response to a query by a journalist.
A journalist had sought China’s view on MCC in Nepal while reminding the recent US State Department statement that Nepal needed to decide on MCC before February 28 or else US-Nepal diplomatic relations would not remain the same.
The journalist had also pointed out the polarization of Nepali politics over MCC and that demonstrations were being held on a daily basis against the compact.
Wenbin, welcoming international cooperation for Nepal’s economic growth and improvement of people’s livelihood, said, “but this should fully respect the will of the Nepalese people and should not attach any political condition.”
“As a friendly neighbor and development partner of Nepal, China will, as always, support the Nepalese people in choosing their own development path, support the Nepali side in making the right choice that conforms to national interests and reflect the will of the people, and continue to provide support to the best of its ability for Nepal’s economic and social development,” the Chinese foreign spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, following violent protests against the MCC in the country of late, US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry said that any activity that incites violence was not acceptable to the US.
“We are a strong supporter of free speech & public discourse based on facts, including on MCC. The right to express one’s views is intrinsic to democracy, and people must be allowed to peacefully share their views. Violence & incitement to violence are never acceptable,” US Embassy said in a Facebook post on Friday.
The US statement comes amid differing views over MCC ratification among the political parties and demonstrations being held every day leading to a bomb blast in one of such protests.