Political Parties’ Role in Sino-Nepalese Relations

By Cui Guitian (18 Janaurary, 2017) –  In contemporary world, one noteworthy phenomenon is that political parties are playing a more and more important role in international politics. To some extent, a country’s foreign policy is often the result of mutual coordination among influential political parties. The construction and development of friendly relationship between Nepal and China in the past 60 years is inseparable from the efforts of the parties in two countries. The deepening of Sino-Nepalese relations in the future depends on the innovative work between the political parties in two countries. This paper focuses on the interpretation and prediction of Sino-Nepalese relations from the perspective of party politics.

The “Value Consensus” of political parties’ ideology and the “Emotional Identity” of Sino-Nepalese relations

In the era of party politics, international relations are not only decided by the national interests, but also by the value and emotional identity between the political parties, especially the ruling parties in both countries. From the perspective of Sino-Nepalese relations, the parties’ value identity and emotional identity meet the requirement for further development of bilateral relations.Based on the understanding of international relations and the current situation, the Communist Party of China (CPC) put forward five principles of peaceful coexistence. We respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, advocate dialogue and cooperation in international affairs. From the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in Mao Zedong era to Deng Xiaoping’s proposition of “Peace and Development” as the main issue in the early period of reform and opening up, CPC’s ideas, including the idea of a harmonious world and “Community of Human Destiny”, have been widely accepted.

The major parties in Nepal, including the Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the United Communist Party of Nepal (MaoistCenter), also advocate cooperation and dialogue with countries all over the world and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. These are the similarities between political parties in the two countries. In Nepal, the ideology of both the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), is Marxist-Leninist. They advocate the elimination of oppression and exploitation, the eradication of poverty and polarization, the realization of human freedom and fully development. They also advocate the transition from an underdeveloped semi-colonial country to national independence and socialism. The CPC is a proletarian party with Marxism as its political soul and a party that is promoting the innovation and development of Chinese Marxism in the 21st century on the basis of Mao Zedong Thought. China’s road, China’s model and China’s economic miracle have also aroused the interests of the political parties in Nepal. It should be said that the CPC and the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) are similar in the theoretical basis and ideology. The CPC attaches great importance to the development of political parties in Nepal, especially the ruling party in different historical periods. CPC strikes to forge a true friendship with these parties. 60% of the people in Nepal are familiar with China, CPC and Mao Zedong.There are even many Mao’s fans among them. The Sino-Nepalese relations in the future mostly depends on how close the communication between China and Nepal’s political parties will be.

It is suggested that the political parties of China and Nepal should reconsider their ideologies, routes and policies from the perspective of the historical trend of world political parties. We should explore the way to form the new “value consensus”. Also, we might learn a lot from our history of bilateral relations over the past 60 years. Only then will we be able to actively expand to new areas and new growth points for political parties and state exchanges between the two countries.

Party Governancethe dynamic interaction of Internal and External environment and the new Era of Sino-Nepalese Relations

For the political party, it is necessary to participate in international politics and to promote its relations with other countries. The goals are as follows: one is to build a better international environment for the internal development, the other is to change the unfavorable situation in the interdependent relations to maximize the national interests and to validate the party governance.

China and Nepal are currently in the critical period of political party governance. The governance of the party itself and the nation and society are all experiencing challenges and problems. Facing the “New Normal” economy and the deep-water of the reform, CPC put forward the “Four Comprehensive Strategies” and the task of the modernization of the nation governance system.The CPC has vowed unremitting efforts to push forward its goal of comprehensively and strictly governing the Party.

When it comes Nepal, both the ruling and the opposition parties are facing hitherto unknown problems. How they deal with the post-earthquake reconstruction and livelihood issues affects the people’s image about the party. After the new Constitution has been adopted, the ruling party needs to enhance the party’s consensus and unity to promote the party’s competitiveness.

In particular, for the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) which just regained the power, the task of governing the country is more difficult. How to sum up the lessons of its ruling history, to coordinate with other political parties and actors, to reach a political consensus, to reduce the political resistance,to make the Nepalese happier, became the main issues.

Both CPC and the parties of Nepal need to learn from other countries, gain support from them, materially and morally. We both need a stable internal environment and a peaceful international and surrounding environment. CPC needs respect from Nepal political parties, especially the ruling party, on sovereignty issues involving Taiwan, Tibet, etc. The implementation of “The Belt and Road” strategy needs the Nepal’s political parties’ especially the ruling party’s collaboration.

For Nepal, China’s aid is needed to develop its domestic economy and to deal with the crisis. Its foreign trade is dependent on China. On the road from the semi feudal and semi colonial country towards modernization and industrialization, Nepal needs Chinese experience and plan.

So, political parties in Nepal and China should strengthen political exchanges, which is in the interest of both sides. By seeking common ground while maintaining the difference, we can further enhance bilateral relations under the new situation.

Political parties in China and Nepal should strike to build a friendly neighborhood relationship which will not be affected by the change of leaders. By adhering to the five principles of peaceful coexistence, we can promote the bilateral relations between our parties and our countries.

  • Cui Guitian is Director, Institute of Contemporary Socialism, Shandong University, China. This is the paper he presented in Nepal-China Think Tank Conference began in Kathmandu on 17 Jan 2017.


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