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Chinese President Xi Jinping stands by national flags at the Schloss Bellevue presidential residency in Berlin on March 28, 2014. Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a landmark visit to fellow export powerhouse Germany Friday, the third leg of his European tour, expected to cement flourishing trade ties and focus on the Crimea crisis. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

Has President Xi’s visit cancelled?

By Our Reporter
Local newspapers report that Chinese President Xi Jinping is not visiting Kathmandu soon i.e. in 2016.  So far, Beijing had given a gesture that one among the top three leaders may visit Kathmandu in the near future.
Talking to People’s Review, the spokesman at the Chinese Embassy, immediately after the claim by DPM and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara that both the Chinese President and the Prime Minister were visiting Nepal soon, had made such a reaction. Mahara, who had visited Beijing as the capacity of a special envoy of PM Pushpakamal Dahal, upon his return, had claimed that he had developed an environment for the high-level visits from Beijing.
Meanwhile, local newspapers, by quoting one minister, had reported that the Chinese President Xi is visiting Kathmandu for one day and the Chinese side has given three options – October 8, 9 or 10 – for President Xi’s visit.
Immediately after the report about President Xi’s visit was made public, the newspapers on Wednesday (7 September) reported that the scheduled visit of President Xi was cancelled.
There were three reasons for cancellation of the visit, reported Annapurna Post vernacular daily. Lack of necessary homework from the Nepal side; weak commitment on the “One Belt One Road” concept from the Nepal side and lack of necessary homework on implementation of the agreements endorsed during the visit of the then prime minister KP Oli, reported the daily.
Furthermore, as the Chinese side had asked to the Nepali authorities to keep the visit date secret, our ministers were in a hurry to disclose the visit date to the media. It was against the Chinese norms as the Chinese government doesn’t like to disclose the visit schedule of the top leaders months ahead. In the past also, the Chinese Premier had visited Kathmandu for a half day at the time when Baburam Bhattarai was the prime minister, the visit scheduled was kept secret. As the schedule was disclosed at the last hours, the Chinese side had tried to know about the officials who had disclosed the visit schedule.
This time, when the Chinese side was working hard to organize the visit, the visit schedule was disclosed even before one month of the tentative visit date. The Chinese side has disliked such a behavior of the officials in the government.
Furthermore, DPM Mahara is considered as an India-confident leader and immediately after his return from Beijing, he held hours long meeting with Indian ambassador Ranjit Rae. It was said that to discuss on the agendas of PM Dahal’s meeting was arranged, however, the Indian envoy, to expose Mahara, stayed with him for hours to demonstrate that he was taking detailed note from Mahara about his visit to Beijing. In fact, he could meet Mahara secretly also but he wished to hold one-on-one meeting at the Finance Ministry with the aim of drawing attention of the officials there. The Chinese side is unhappy from Mahara’s behaviour.
Loss to Nepal:
For a long time, Nepal has not been able to host top ranking Chinese leaders in Kathmandu. President Xi has given special priority on relations with the neighbouring countries and he has already visited most of the neighbouring countries bordering with China. In this regard, this time, Nepal had an opportunity to host the supreme leader of China but if the visit is cancelled due to the negligence from the government side, Nepal will lose an important opportunity to host the Chinese supreme leader.  Strategically too, presence of supreme leader of China would be a silent gesture to counter the Indian psyche that Nepal as an India protected nation.
The Indians were making efforts to stop President Xi from visiting Nepal. This Indian plan will become successful if the visit will be cancelled.

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