Nepal has reassured China of its support and commitment to ‘One China Policy’ during a meeting between Nepalese leaders and a 15-member Chinese delegation led by Chen Bingde, the Chief of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The delegation Thursday met with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal, Defense Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel, and senior Defense Ministry officials. Nepalese PM Khanal said Nepal was always committed to the ‘One China Policy’ and assured the Chinese army chief that the Nepalese government will never allow anti-China activities to take place in the country. “Nepal and China always share warm and cordial relations and in the days ahead Nepal is willing to further strengthen ties between the two countries”, media reports quoted Khanal as saying.
General Chen also told the Prime Minister that China will continue to increase its financial assistance to Nepal.
Chen hailed the ties between the two countries saying, “I am happy that gradually our relation is attaining new heights.” However, in an apparent signal to India, Chen warned Nepal against letting any third party involvement in the ties between the two countries. “Any third party involvement in the ties between China and Nepal is unacceptable,” said Chen without elaborating.
“An economically developed and politically stable Nepal is important not only for the Asia-Pacific region but to the entire world”, added Chen.
The Chinese delegation which arrived in Kathmandu on a “goodwill” visit Wednesday at the invitation of Chhatra Man Singh Gurung, chief of staff of the Nepalese Army also signed 2 agreements with Nepalese army, agreeing to provide medical equipment worth 100 million RMB Yuan and engineering equipments worth 30 million RMB Yuan to the Nepalese Army.
Gurung reiterated that the Nepalese government will firmly support the ‘one-China policy’ and is committed to crack down on the “Tibetan separatists” in Nepal. “We will not allow any person to engage in activities of splitting China in Nepal,” said Gurung.
Gurung expressed his thanks to China and hailed the “smooth development and the military exchanges in various fields” between the two sides.
The delegation included Qiu Guohong, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal; Wang Jianping, commander of the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force (APF); Yang Jinshan, commander of the Tibet Military Command of the PLA; Qian Lihua, director-general of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense of the PRC; Zhang Yanling, director of the Health Department of the General Logistics Department of the PLA; and Wang Jin, deputy director of the Operation Department of the General Staff Headquarters of the PLA.
Nepal has proven its friendship with China by not allowing Tibetans to hold protests against China on its soil on number of occasions, including the birthday of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, who is reviled by Beijing as a “separatist”. Nepal’s most recent expression of support to ‘One China Policy’ came in the form of its not allowing around 10000 Tibetans in Nepal on Sunday to exercise voting rights to elect the Tibetan Prime Minister and legislators.
Nepal, which is home to some 20,000 Tibetans, has accommodated Tibetan exiles for decades, but has come under increasing pressure from China to crack down on the political protests in the recent years.
Under Beijing’s influence and lack of stable government in the impoverished nation, rights groups say Tibetan refugees in Nepal are increasingly vulnerable and at risk of arrest and repatriation.