Army integration process suffers from lack of cooperation among political parties; Chinese military delegation assures help in integration process
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  • The army integration process continued to be bedeviled by lack of cooperation among the major political parties. The Nepali Congress (NC) for instance refused to join the special committee on army integration unless its conditions were accepted by the government. NC Vice-President Ram Chandra Poudel urged the reconstitution of the committee and made his party’s cooperation contingent upon the government fulfilling its obligations as laid out in the nine-point understanding. The committee presently was made up of two members from the CPN-Maoist and one each from CPN-UML and the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF)1.

    The Nepalese Defense Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa requested China to help his country in the integration process. This was conveyed by Mr. Thapa to a visiting 10-member delegation of senior Chinese military officials led by Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian. Gen. Ma on his part stated that China was willing to help Nepal without interfering in the internal affairs of the country. The two sides discussed among other issues, the ongoing peace process and border security. The delegation, which included four Major generals of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), promised to provide Nepal with non-lethal military support worth Rs. 207 million2.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was also on a three day visit to Nepal from December 2, during which he met senior Nepali political leadership, including President Yadav and Prime Minister Dahal. Yang promised to expedite the construction of a much delayed road project connecting Syaprubensi in Nepal to Rasuwamadi on the border with Tibet. The road linking Nepal with Tibet is expected to boost trade and tourism. Kathmandu currently was linked with Lhasa by a road built by China in the 1970s. The Nepalese foreign Minister on his part, during his meeting with Mr. Jiechi, assured him that Nepal has always been upholding the principle of a ‘One China policy.’ Yang noted that China has been extending full support to Nepal's recent political changes and expressed his country’s commitment to provide necessary assistance for protecting Nepal’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence3.