10/22/2009, 00.00
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Nepali Ex Prime Minister Prachanda meets Chinese President Hu Jintao

by Kalpit Parajuli
Two leaders discuss ways to consolidate relations between their respective Communist parties and strengthen the stability of Nepal. For the former Nepali premier, this is the first visit to China as party leader, after his resignation from the post of prime minister.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Pushpa Kamal Dahal, aka Prachanda, the former prime minister of Nepal and current leader of the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M), met Chinese President Hu Jintao in Jinan (Shandong) on 16 October. In talks that lasted 25 minutes, the two leaders discussed Nepal’s stability, closer ties between their respective Communist parties, and support for economic growth. They also touched upon China’s role in South Asia’s economies and the global future of Communism.

"The visit was successful and the leaders talked about the Nepali peace process, unity between the Nepali and Chinese Communist parties and strengthening the relationship between the parties,” said Krishna Bahadur Mahara, head of the UCPN-M’s Foreign Affairs Department, who stressed that for China’s president strengthening Nepal’s political institutions is fundamental for stability.

The Chinese leader also expressed concern over the anti-Chinese activities by Tibetan activists in Nepal.  However, no direct reference was made to Sino-Indian friction; Beijing has accused India of stirring up protests in Nepal and interfering in its economy.

New Delhi, for its part, recently announced that in November the Dalai Lama would visit the Arunachai Pradesh, an Indian State on the border of China, which is a cause of disagreement between the two.

Ex Prime Minister Prachanda was in China from 11 to 19 October. This is his first visit as secretary general of Nepal’s Maoist party since he resigned as prime minister on 4 May, after President Ram Baran Yadav rejected his government’s decision to incorporate former Maoist rebels in the ranks of the regular army.

At present, a national unity coalition runs the government but still has close ties to Beijing. Yet tensions with former Maoist rebels remain high.

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