Saturday, April 4, 2015

Nepal's vassal status: Yadav in Tibet

Where was Chen Quanguo?
It is not an April Fool, but it happened on April 1.
After attending the Boao Forum (The ‘Asian’ Davos) the Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav and his entourage stopped for a couple of days in Tibet.
As the report did not appeared in English in the Chinese press, I give here a rough translation of The Tibet Daily's article.
While receiving Yadav, Lobsang Gyaltsen, the Chairman of the local government stated that it was the first time in five years that a Nepalese President visited the ‘Autonomous Region’, although it was Yadav's second visit to Tibet.
‘Tibetan’ leaders such as Padma Choling, Lobsang Gyatsen, Wu Yingjie, Deng Xiao-gang, Qizha La (Choedrak), Rui Lian, Tenzin Namgyal, Saron Ping were in attendance to receive President Yadav.
When he arrived at Gongkar Airport, Yadav and his entourage were received by Lobsang Gyatsen.
Xinhua asserts that ‘the two sides held cordial and friendly talks’ during the visit. Lobsang Gyaltsen received the Nepalese party and gave a speech on behalf of the regional party committee, the government and on behalf of the regional party secretary Chen Quanguo, (who seems to have been missing in action).
Gyaltsen extended a warm welcome “on behalf of the region's more than 300 million (sic) people of all nationalities in Tibet and wished the visit a complete success.”
He noted that President Xi Jinping and President Yadav had a cordial meeting during the Boao Forum and both sides had decided to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in the field of development, to deepen law enforcement (probably against Tibetan refugees in Nepal) and to enhance their security cooperation (again against the Tibetans), while expanding cultural cooperation, strengthening coordination in multilateral areas and conducting in-depth exchanges.
A big program indeed!
Gyaltsen spoke of the consensus between the 2 countries “which will greatly help to promote a comprehensive and in-depth cooperative partnership between China and Nepal, but also will uphold the traditional friendship as well as exchanges and cooperation between China's Tibet Autonomous Region and Nepal in the future.”
Why do the Tibetan leaders need to always say ‘China’s Tibet’? It would be strange to write ‘India’s Haryana’ or India’s Kerala’. It is perhaps an old habit dating from the time Tibet was not China's.
Lobsang Gyatsen continued to say that the TAR’s Communist Party and his Government attach a great importance to further develop the traditional friendly relations with Nepal.
He reminded the Nepalese President that last year, he had led a TAR delegation to Nepal for a five-day visit; at that time the Government of Nepal provided them “a high standard of courtesy and hospitality and the interview with His Excellency the President [Yadav]  is still fresh in my memory,” said Gyaltsen, who added that he hoped that the present visit would be an occasion for the Tibet Autonomous Region and Nepal to further enhance their understanding and to reach a broad consensus for future great achievements.
Gyalsten also affirmed: “In recent years, bilateral exchanges have been multi-faceted; multi-level cooperation helped to maintain a vigorous growth.”
The TAR government Chairman noted that friendship and cooperation between the two countries help to confidently look into the future of the relations between Nepal and Tibet.
He appreciated Nepal firmly supporting China on Taiwan-related issues, and for not allowing any forces (read Tibetan refugees) who would like to use the Nepalese territory to engage in anti-China activities, thereby effectively safeguarding the stability of the Sino-Nepalese border area.
He said that this was highly appreciated and thanked Nepal for this.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Nepal and China, the Tibet Autonomous Region will take the opportunity to continue to unswervingly implement the principles and policies of the central government's diplomatic work with the neighbours and further strengthen and promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, culture, tourism, police, port construction, by increasing China’s aid to Nepal, deepening of the Sino-Nepalese friendship and achieving shared outcomes and promoting common development.
Lobsang Gyaltsen briefed the Nepalese President on the present economic and social development of the Tibet Autonomous Region: “under the loving care (sic) and the selfless support of Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and the people, cadres and the masses of all ethnic groups in the region, through these joint efforts, Tibet today witnesses a fast economic development while the people's livelihood is continuously improving.
Then Gyaltsen gave the usual lecture about good ecology and environment, national unity and progress, religious harmony, social harmony and stability between people of all nationalities who are working together to achieve the objective of a moderately prosperous society [the first ‘comprehensive’ of Xi Jinping] and China’s great rejuvenation, i.e. the Chinese dream.
Lobsang Gyaltsen invited President Yadav and other senior Nepalese officials to attend the second session of the Tibet China International Fair of Tourism and Culture.
President Yadav in his reply to Lobsang Gyaltsen remembered his first visit to Tibet 5 years earlier. He was very happy to be back, he said, adding that the mountains and rivers in Nepal are similar, there are also many cultural similarities between Nepal and Tibet, and the two countries have a long, deep, time-tested and comprehensive history of cooperation. Nepal adheres to the one-China policy and will never allow any forces to engage in any anti-China activities on Nepalese territory (i.e. the Tibetans)
In recent years, Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region have deepened their friendly exchanges through frequent high-level visits. He especially mentioned Lobsang Gyaltsen’s last year visit to Kathmandu: “This successful visit to Nepal have taken the bilateral relations to a new height, while maintaining close bilateral police cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime [Tibetan refugees crossing into Nepal]; the economic exchange has become increasingly active, growing, and are expanding in the fields of bilateral trade, investment and tourism. The cooperation is based on a good foundation; Nepal and Tibet Autonomous Region have important channels of communication, by aviation and roads [and soon train], he added.
The forthcoming railway to Nepal will create interoperability on both sides, it will be an opportunity to share more and create a huge prosperity for Nepal.
The Nepal-Tibet trade cooperation has a huge potential and is poised to thrive; Nepal is grateful to Tibet Autonomous Region for helping to improve people's lives in northern Nepal border region, said Yadav.
The Nepalese President mentioned the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Nepal and China during which a series of activities will be held; it is bound to take the Nepal-China friendship into a higher level; it will breathe a new vitality into the Nepal-China relations.
Nepal is willing to further deepen the close cooperation between Nepal and the TAR by participating in the China International Tourism and Culture Fair which will enhance mutual trust, said President Yadav.
During his stay in Tibet, President Yadav and his entourage visited the Lhasa railway station and the Tashilhunpo monastery in Shigatse.
They also saw the Lhasa National Economic and Technological Development Zone and the National Agricultural Technology Park. They visited a barley beer production unit and the Yak Museum in Lhasa.
Before leaving, President Yadav praised Tibet for its great achievements in terms of infrastructure, agricultural science and technology innovation, development of special industries, cultural heritage protection, improved urban and rural areas and ecological and environmental protection.
The Nepalese President also stated that the rapid development and changes in Tibet, the social stability and harmony, the vigor and vitality of the region deeply impressed him. He wished the Sino-Nepalese friendship generations of comprehensive cooperative partnership at highest level.
On April 1 at noon, President Yadav left for Nepal.
He had said what the Chinese wanted to hear from a vassal.
Lobsang Gyaltsen went to the Gongkar airport to see President Yadav off; he invited him visited Tibet again. Apparently, Yadav accepted ‘with pleasure’.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Wu Chun too, Urban Development Minister of Nepal Dr. Narayanan Khadka were present during the visit.
E-Kantipur, a Nepali newspaper further reported: “The rail connectivity will improve trade, tourism and people-to-people relations between Nepal and China, Losang Jamcan [Lobsang Gyalsten], chairman of Tibetan Autonomous Region, told President Ram Baran Yadav during their meeting in Lhasa.”
The article added: “China has already expressed its readiness to extend its rail network up to Nepal. During his Nepal visit in December last year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had requested the Nepal side to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed railway extension project from the Tibetan city of Shigatse to Kathmandu and beyond. “
And beyond…
Minister for Urban Development Narayan Khadka said that China promised an aid of Rs 14 billion to Nepal: ‘this was the major highlights of the visit’. Obviously!
In the meantime, Reuters reported: “Buddhist temples and monasteries in Tibet must become propaganda centres for the ruling Communist Party, where monks and nuns learn to ‘revere’ science and appreciate the party's love.”
It quoted an article written by Chen Quanguo in the party magazine Qiushi; the Part boss in Tibet said that more than 1,700 temples and monasteries and 46,000 monks and nuns had to be seen by the government as ‘friends’, adding “Let the monks and nuns in the temples and monasteries have a personal feeling of the party and government's care and warmth; let them feel the party's benevolence, listen to the party's words and follow the party's path."
Chen further argued: “Monks and nuns should not have to go out of their temples or monasteries to understand the party and government's policies and social progress, or Tibet's peace, stability and good fortune, so as to be guided to follow a path of revering scientific culture.".
By the way: where was Chen Quanguo, Tibet's Party boss during President Yadav’s visit to Tibet? As the Secretary of the Party, he should have been in Lhasa to receive the Nepalese President. He was missing in action.
It is strange.
Is he on his way out?

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