Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Is there a China angle to Nepal turmoil?

Update / Tuesday, May 5, 2009.

US-based security analyses agency Stratfor has this to say about the political events in Nepal over the past 72 hours:

"As this crisis in Nepal is unfolding, India is already extremely consumed with many other issues, which include but are not limited to the ongoing general elections, the implications of Pakistan potentially breaking under pressure from its jihadist insurgency and issues in managing Tamil opposition over the Sri Lankan Army's final push against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.”
"China is more interested in preventing India from monopolising foreign influence in Kathmandu, while New Delhi would rather have Beijing stay out of India's perceived sphere of influence."
The political turmoil in Nepal came only a few days before Prachanda was scheduled to make an official trip to Beijing. Although Nepal, particularly when under the control of the royalists, has historically been close to India, the Chinese have been working on enlarging their footprint in the Himalayan country by building up a relationship with Nepal's new Maoist-dominated Government.
It is quite interesting, then, that Prachanda had chosen Gen Kul Bahadur Khadka, to assume the position of Army chief, who is known to have a pro-China stance.
Prachanda had threatened to scrap the India-Nepal Treaty and replace it with a China-Nepal treaty during the Maoist leader's scheduled visit to China, revealing his intent to play on Indo-Chinese competition in Nepal to strengthen the Maoists' political clout.

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