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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Prachanda's China trip not what it’s made out to be?

October 21, 2009

Times of India
October 19, 2009

KATHMANDU (TNN) -- As Maoist chief and former
prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda
returned to Nepal Monday after an eight-day visit
to China, the indications are that the trip is not what it is made out to be.

While his party claims the visit was significant
because it strengthened ties between it and the
ruling Communist Party of China, there has been
no public word of support by Beijing for the
ongoing movement by the former guerrillas to form
a new government under their leadership. On the
contrary, the dragon told the visiting delegation
that it was concerned about the peace process,
the drafting of the new constitution and Nepal’s
development. China has also expressed concern
about anti-China activities in Nepal by Tibetan exiles.

Since these are concerns Beijing has been
conveying to all the major parties and their
leaders, the Maoists would be wrong to read in
them any special support for them. Indeed,
pragmatic China would not want to rock the boat
in Nepal with the current Prime Minister, Madhav
Kumar Nepal, having agreed to its suggestion to
deploy armed security personnel along Nepal’s
northern border with Tibet to prevent anti-China activities.

Perhaps the most telling thing about the Chinese
perspective on the visit is that the Chinese
media virtually ignored it, including Prachanda’s
meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Jinan
on the sidelines of the 11th Chinese National
Games Friday. Though the state news agency Xinhua
reported the meeting on the same day between
Chinese political advisor Wang Gang with a
delegation from Maldives’ Democratic Party, there
was no mention of the Hu-Prachanda interaction.
Ironically, the same Maoist party had created a
furore about Nepal’s official visit to India in
August, saying it was a failure because it was
ignored by India’s national media.

A tired-looking Prachanda’s assertion to the
media that the impasse at parliament -- which has
remained obstructed virtually since May -- would
be resolved soon after dialogue among the major
parties also rang hollow. If that had been the
goal of the Maoist leadership, it would have
spent the ongoing festival lull to seek an
understanding through talks instead of Prachanda
haring off on a questionable foreign visit.
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