Kathmandu, Sep 26 (IANS) Nepal’s opposition has voiced concerns over the ruling Nepal Communist Party’s two-day training programme on ‘Xi Jinping Thought’, conducted here by a 50-member team of the Communist Party of China.
There were fundamental differences between Nepali and Chinese societies, constitutions, political orientations and governing systems, said opposition Nepali Congress leaders at a book launch in Kathmandu on Monday.
“Our constitutional and political provisions are based on democracy, pluralism, federalism, an open society and parliamentary democracy, all of which are missing in the Chinese system,” Nepali Congress Vice President Bimalendra Nidhi told the Kathmandu Post.
“It is not acceptable to us if they train ruling party leaders and cadres to be like them,” he said.
A CPC team arrived in Kathmandu on Monday to impart ‘training’ to senior leaders and cadres of the Nepal Communist Party in a programme titled ‘Nepal-China Friendship Symposium’.
At the inaugural speech, Ishwar Pokhrel, chief of the school department of the ruling party, said that although Nepal and China’s economic, social, political and geographical characteristics are different, the end goal is the same.
Over 50 Chinese leaders and cadres, led by Song Tao, head of Communist Party of China’s International Department, arrived in Kathmandu. On Monday, Song met Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and assured that China would assist Nepal in its path to prosperity.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, considered the most powerful since Mao Zedong, has maintained a tight hold on both the party and government and even has the backing of the People’s Liberation Army.
At its 19th National Conclave in 2017, the Communist Party of China incorporated ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’, known in short as ‘Xi Jinping Thought’, into its constitution.
Xi’s “new era of Chinese socialism” has included flagship foreign policy initiative like the Belt and Road Initiative, of which Nepal is a part.
With Xi’s possible visit to Nepal next month, many believe that the Nepal Communist Party is simply currying favour with the northern neighbour with the training.
“When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Nepal, Oli’s foreign policy becomes pro-Bharatiya Janata Party. When someone comes from China, suddenly it turns into pro-Communist Party of China,” said N.P. Saud, another Congress leader.
Others, however, apprehend an ideological shift.
“Any nation can have friendly relations with any country but trying to impose a similar kind of political system or imparting training to indoctrinate is a matter of concern,” said Bal Krishna Khand, a Nepali Congress leader. “The way the ruling party is heading is a danger to Nepal’s sovereignty.”
Some political analysts have voiced concern over the joint training between the two communist parties.
“In Xi’s China, he is described as a ‘monarch’ and people’s mouths are shut in the name of socialism while rigid state-capitalism is exercised,” political commentator Khagendra Sangroula said on Twitter.
According to ruling party leaders, the Chinese team will present various papers in the two-day symposium, including on topics like ‘Completing the Building of a Comfortable Society’ and ‘Comprehensive Enforcement of Party Discipline’.
Leaders from both sides are expected to discuss a number of issues, including the Belt and Road Initiative. The training program is organised by the School Department of the ruling party.
At the end of the symposium, the two communist parties will also sign two Memorandums of Understanding pledging regular exchanges of leaders and cadres, including the holding of ideological symposiums and interactions, and pledging sisterly relations between the two parties, the Post reported.