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The Chinese ambush

Friday, January 13th, 2012
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The controversial visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao which was shelved few weeks back is taking even more dramatic tryst. Unconfirmed sources in the government leaked the news to the media late on Friday that Wen will land in Kathmandu on Saturday at around 11 in the morning and after meeting his Nepali counterpart for few hours, will proceed onto his visit to the Middle East.

The speculations had already begun on Thursday after  Chinese Ambassador made an unscheduled visit to Baluwatar on Thursday and reports about police detaining over a hundred Tibetans entering Kathmandu on Friday.

There is no doubt the ambushed visit is a face saving exercise for both, the Chinese and more importantly for the Baburam government. But in doing so the Chinese have once again exposed their anxiety over what they regard as growing Free Tibet activities in Nepal. If the visit itself has been unannounced, the Chinese couldn’t have timed it better, using the opportunity when most of the Tibetans here have gone to Bodhgaya for Tibetan Buddhist Kaalachakra initiation given by the Dalai Lama.

The police have beefed up security in ‘sensitive’ areas and are making late night preparations for tomorrow’s visit. Although there are many issues regarding bilateral cooperation on the agenda which the Nepal government may be eager to discuss, the Chinese will be more interested in discussing ways to control ‘anti-Chinese’ activities in Nepal. In such situation, there is little hope that the Chinese premier’s visit will yield us as much as it promised.

Anurag Acharya

Read also:
When Wen?

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