Nepal opposes US-led initiative aimed at China

Kathmandu: Nepalese associations and representatives have called for the dismissal of a US-led initiative waiting for approval by the Nepalese parliament, as it is thought to be a key component of the US Indo-Pacific strategy. The strategic plan outlines military efforts aimed at countering China, a country that has long been a friendly neighbor to Nepal.
The initiative would force Nepal to get involved in the competition between China and the US, analysts said, noting that Nepal would not cater to US political strategy at the expense of its friendship with China and be lured with a “financial grant” that has strings attached to Nepal’s geopolitical position.
A joint letter sent to the Global Times shows that many Nepalese organizations, party members and individuals condemned and protested against the initiative named “Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)” recently, calling it a US “strategic plan to disturb Nepal’s national interest, sovereignty, integrity and independence” and appealing “to unite to kick it out” from Nepal.
MCC agreement courted controversy in Nepal as politicians debated over its association with the US Indo-Pacific Strategy and provisions that say the agreement will prevail over Nepal’s laws should conflicts arise.
The agreement is ready for the Nepalese parliament, who will vote whether to ratify it. The MCC Board in the US announced a $500 million grant to Nepal in August 2017 to improve Nepal’s energy and road infrastructure, local media reported.
However, many believe that the agreement is aimed at countervailing China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which Nepal signed up for in 2016.
“MCC has already registered in the parliament but to pass from the parliament is nearly impossible due to protest of the ruling party’s senior leaders and widespread protesting all over the country from the public level and hundreds of small parties,” PremSagar, president of Kathmandu-based Nepal-China Mutual Co-operation Society, told the Global Times.
– The Daily Mail-Global Times News exchange item