US Nepal Relations: Dispute over BRI in Nepal and China, American ‘Chanakya’ suddenly coming to Kathmandu, know the reason – us assistant secretary of state donald lu kathmandu visit amid china imposing belt and road initiative on nepal

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Kathmandu: The dispute over the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues in Nepal and China. China claims that they have made many projects under BRI including Pokhara International Airport. At the same time, Nepal is clearly denying this claim. Meanwhile, Assistant Foreign Minister Donald Lu, who is called American Chanakya, is arriving on a one-day visit to Kathmandu. However, the US and Nepal have not yet made a formal announcement about his visit. Donald Lu is the same American leader who was accused by former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan of conspiring to topple his government. Donald Lu is the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.

Donald Lu will reach Nepal on July 14

The Kathmandu Post quoted a diplomatic source as saying that as part of his South Asian tour, Donald Lu is making a very short visit to Kathmandu. He will visit other countries including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Lu will land in Kathmandu on July 14 and spend a few hours here. They will have regular political meetings inside and outside the embassy, ​​but they don’t have a specific agenda. He is traveling in this area. External Affairs Ministry officials said he would meet Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Foreign Minister NP Saud, other senior officials and some political leaders whose confirmation is yet to be made.

American ‘Chanakya’ arriving amid visit of Chinese leaders

Donald Lu’s visit to Nepal comes at a time when high-level visits by Chinese leaders are on the rise. Lu has already visited Kathmandu twice. He last came to Kathmandu in November 2021 to request the Millennium Challenge Corporation to be approved by the Nepali Parliament without any delay. His visit came at a time when the MCC Nepal Compact had become a political issue. He then met the then Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN-UML President KP Oli and CPN (Maoist Centre) President Pushpa Kamal Dahal and asked them to ensure that the accord is passed by Parliament within the February 28 deadline. should go.

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Donald Lu has threatened Nepal many times

However, even after this the Millennium Challenge Corporation program was not approved by the Nepali Parliament. In such a situation, Lu called Deuba, Oli and Dahal from Australia on 10 February 2022 and threatened that if the agreement was not passed by 28 February, Washington would review its relations with Nepal. This was the strongest and clearest message from the US to Nepal since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1947. In such a situation, on 27 February 2022, just a day before the deadline, amidst heavy pressure, the Nepali Parliament approved the US deal. In July, Lu again visited Kathmandu after Nepal refused to be part of the US State Partnership Program (SPP).

Nepal was also invited regarding SPP program

The US State Partnership Program (SPP) is a type of security alliance. In such a situation, Nepal decided to stay away from it while maintaining its policy of not joining any security or military alliance. America has launched this program especially for countries spread from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian subcontinent. Lu had met then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, then Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka in July last year but did not mention or discuss Nepal’s decision to stay away from the SPP.

Lu is coming for the first time after Prachanda became the PM

Lu’s upcoming visit will be the first to Kathmandu after Pushpa Kamal Dahal was elected prime minister in December last year. But some other senior officials, including US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, visited Kathmandu in January. Soon after her departure, USAID chief Samantha Power and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) Afreen Akhtar visited Kathmandu and met Nepal’s political leadership, senior officials, civil society and the business community. met with

Prachanda did not allow the CIA chief to come

In February this year, the Nepal government barred US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Williams Burns from visiting Kathmandu, citing security reasons. A senior security official said that Burns wanted to land in Kathmandu on 15 February and leave the next day, but the direct intervention of Prime Minister Dahal prevented the trip. According to sources, China was not happy with Bern’s planned visit to Nepal. In such a situation, instead of taking enmity with China, Prachanda canceled the visit of Burns. Now Lu is arriving in Kathmandu at a time when the date for the implementation of the MCC compact is nearing.

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