Besides being the undisputed leader of the CPN-UML, Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli is also the undisputed leader of the dominant Khas-Arya community. His xenophobic, jingoist and chauvinistic rhetoric is picked up by the Nepalese media with enthusiastic enthusiasm. Sharma Oli chose to launch his election campaign from Darchula, on the northwestern border, to restore his nationalist image. The location of its first electoral meeting seems to have been chosen for its intrinsic propaganda value.

From the controversy over the sources of the Mahakali River in the early 1990s to the disagreement over the Kalapani region in the late 1990s to the diplomatic storm over the settlements of Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura two years ago, the district of Darchula has remained in the news as a symbol of Nepal. territorial integrity being constantly threatened with being violated by Indian intransigence.

The importance of symbolism in populist politics cannot be overstated. This time the Oliological the trick of inciting nationalist fervor through the rhetoric of territorial integrity found neither a receptive audience in Kathmandu nor responsive responders in New Delhi. Nothing stops an agitator as quickly as the dismissive silence of the recipients.

The Indian media rarely pays attention to the affairs of neighboring countries without a nod from the security establishment. The parliamentary elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat are more important to propagandists in the Indian capital than the political drama playing out in Pakistan or the ritual game of parliamentary elections playing out in Nepal.

In any case, the provincialism of the Hindutva regime has become so acute that New Delhi routinely prioritizes even petty national issues over important matters of global concern. Perhaps the Indian establishment has decided to let Nepalese politicians vent their frustrations without worrying too much about its repercussions on bilateral relations.

The silence of Nepalese nationalist media on Indian ambivalence is somewhat more intriguing since India-bashing is the intelligentsia’s default stance whenever something goes wrong. Whether it’s a change of government, a vertical split in a political party, or deteriorating air quality, opinion makers in Kathmandu are still convinced that it’s all good. fault of India.

In the normal course, the unfortunate death of a child on the eastern bank of the Mahakali River due to the sheer negligence of builders on the western bank would have rocked the Nepalese media for months. This time, a simple excuse shut down their overactive keyboards for good. What did Indian strategists do differently this time around? Sending something sweeter or stronger than the usual bottle of whiskey to Nepalese press leaders as a Dashain gift?

A possible explanation could be that the Hindutva regime has accepted a secondary role and left the Americans to deal with South Asia for the time being. The convergence of two of Nepal’s three geopolitical “neighbors” often means that the third puppeteer has to go on the defensive. When Washington and Beijing played together in formulating the 16-point plot, New Delhi wrung its hands in irritation. The Americans seem to have teamed up with India to counter the increasingly wolf-warrior diplomacy of the Chinese this time.

puzzled beijing

After emerging as general secretary of the Communist Party of China for a third five-year term from the 20th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping is poised to remain at the helm of the world’s second most powerful country. With great power comes great responsibility, the greatest of which is maintaining greatness.

With the kind of political system he has strengthened at home, President Xi can easily ignore domestic discontent. Reports of his challenges at home seem to be slightly exaggerated. What he will have to do instead is internationalize Xi Jinping’s thinking to ensure a legacy to match that of the Grand Helmsman. While Chairman Mao skillfully used powerful Cold War-era leaders – first Joseph Stalin and then Richard Nixon – to his advantage, Chairman Xi is likely to be the main challenger to state hegemony. United during the Second Cold War. The burden of being the leader of a group is that he has no friends, only allies or antagonists.

President Xi designed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a declaration of China’s arrival on the world stage. It was to be a harbinger of change in the existing world order and a direct challenge to US hegemony. A decade isn’t long enough to assess the impact of the biggest infrastructure project in human history, but it’s safe to say that the initial response to the proposal was mildly disappointing.

In South Asia, Indians have refused to join the BRI, even at the risk of being excluded from the China-led free trade group, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which would be “arguably the biggest deal in free trade in history”. . The promise of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as a game-changer in transforming Pakistan’s energy, transport and other economic infrastructure sounds enticing on paper, but Pakistanis must continue to look to the West in a crisis.

The Chinese have been unfairly blamed for debt trap diplomacy and the ensuing economic crisis that led to political upheaval in Sri Lanka, but it can still be argued that loans for vain projects of strategic importance but unviable economically, like the port of Hambantota, cast a shadow over Beijing’s intentions. The Chinese have given up on the call for unity among communist parties in Nepal, but will they so easily abandon the principles of peripheral diplomacy? No political party in the election fray even attempted to grapple with the issue.

cheated delhi

It took some time, but the Hindutva regime in New Delhi seems to have finally realized that the fraudulent socialists, fake Marxists, fake Leninists and fake Maoists in Nepal are all essentially Brahmin parties that have no need their sermons to reject the false secularism of the constitution. But the hope that the United States will use its diplomacy and other forms of soft power to counter China and clear the ground for Indian interests is clearly illusory. Dominant powers harbor hegemonic ambitions. The MCC Compact has gained parliamentary ratification, but challenges to its implementation have yet to crystallize. The prefix in the Indo-Pacific refers to the Indian Ocean rather than India, and Beijing as well as New Delhi know full well that foreign aid, military strategy and human rights rhetoric are the intertwined arrows of the US foreign policy trident.

For the Indians, the 1950 treaty is the main concern, everything else is only optical. Trade and transit treaties will be reviewed in 2023. Eminent Persons Group report gathers dust in New Delhi. Diplomatic differences over international issues, including but not limited to the war in Ukraine, mean that Nepal is not seen as a reliable friend in the Indian capital. The diplomatic dilemma is likely to intensify regardless of which party leads the next government. The heat is low for now, but the risk of the geopolitical cauldron boiling after the election cannot be ruled out.