China welcomed the merger of Nepal’s two Communist parties, one headed by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and the other by former Prime Minister Prachanda, saying it supports the country’s choices to develop its social system.
The ruling CPN-UML, led by Oli, and Prachanda’s CPN-Maoist Centre merged to form the Nepal Communist Party – the country’s largest Leftist party.
“As a good neighbor and friend to Nepal, China supports Nepal’s independent choice for the social system and development path that suits its own national conditions and we welcome the merging of the two parties,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said here.
“We also wish that they can achieve national development goals at an early date. We are willing to continue our mutual beneficial cooperation for the benefit of both the countries and people,” he said.
Both the factions headed by Oli and Prachanda maintain close ties with the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
The new Nepal Communist Party has a strength of 175 members in the 275-member House of Representatives, which is a nearly two-third majority.
As per the terms of agreement of the unification of the two parties, Oli and Prachanda will lead the unified party and a nine-member secretariat, and enjoy equal power.
According to a news report of Indian News Agency PTI, the advent of the Nepalese Communist parties to power has broadened China’s political influence in Nepal while Beijing consolidates its presence with big investments and infrastructure projects, affecting India’s close ties with the Himalayan country.
During his last tenure as prime minister in 2015, Oli had signed the transit treaty to end dependence on India for his landlocked country and improve rail and road links between Nepal and China through Tibet.
However, some Indian news outlets also questioned: Nepal’s communist parties unite ahead of Oli’s China visit; signals for India?
“Internationally, too, this move of unification by Nepal's communists ahead of Oli's June visit to China is significant and will keep India guessing over various angles and aspects. PM Modi during his recent visit to Nepal made hard efforts to revive India's battered image among the Nepalis but has that really paid off? Time will tell,” writes Oneindia, Indian news portal.