CPC politburo member visiting NepalYuan Jiajun will be senior-most Communist Party of China official coming after formation of Dahal government.
Yuan Jiajun, member of the politburo of the Communist Party of China, is visiting Kathmandu on July 23 leading a delegation from Chongqing city. The politburo is a key decision-making body of the party. Yuan is also the secretary of the Communist Party of China, Chongqing Municipal Committee.
A CPN-UML leader familiar with the upcoming visit said Yuan will hold high-level meetings with leaders from various parties including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Besides meeting different party leaders, the Chinese delegation is likely to invite Nepal’s participation in the “Belt and Road (Chongqing) International Consumer Goods Expo” co-hosted by the Supply and Marketing Cooperation Industry Branch of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Cooperation Times. The event is scheduled to be held at the Chongqing International Expo Center from September 22 to 24.
According to Chinese media reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping had in December last year inducted Yuan to the CPC’s 24-member politburo due to his strong background in science and technology and aerospace engineering. Yuan will be the senior-most CPC official visiting Kathmandu after the formation of the Dahal-led government in December last year.
“Chinese rocket scientist Yuan Jiajun, newly named to the Communist Party’s 24-member Politburo, has been appointed to take the helm of the southwestern mega city Chongqing as party secretary,” the South China Morning Post had reported on December 8, 2022.
Yuan has a PhD in engineering and he is a researcher, doctoral tutor, and an expert with outstanding contributions to the National Defense Technology Industry. He also served as vice chairman of the International Astronautical Federation, according to China Vitae that keeps records of almost all Chinese political figures.
“The frequency of the visit from China will rise in the coming days,” said Upendra Gautam, general secretary of the Kathmandu-based China Study Center (CSC).
“Several visits from China were pending due to the Covid pandemic, but now restrictions have been lifted so we are seeing more exchanges at different levels from China,” he added.
Besides Yuan’s delegation, other Chinese delegations of leaders and experts are also scheduled to visit Kathmandu to take part in several events to mark a decade of the Belt and Road Initiative. The International Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party or the International Liaison Department (ILD) in association with China Culture Center is organising an event on Thursday to commemorate a decade of the BRI. Some medium rank CPC leaders will attend the function, a source familiar with the event said.
Similarly, another function is being organised by the Friends of Silk Road Club Nepal on Friday entitled, “China's Development Model: Promoting Growth and Safeguarding Livelihoods,” where representatives from the International Department of Chinese Communist Party will participate.
These back-to-back visits from China are happening ahead of several other high-level engagements this year including the visit of Prime Minister Dahal’s to China.
“You will see more visits, but more frequent from and to China at different layers and levels,” the UML leader, who heads a non-governmental organisation working for strengthening Nepal-China ties, said. “Resumption of two-way visits is very much on China’s radar.”
Several Nepali leaders and officials have visited China after Beijing lifted its Covid restrictions in early 2023. From Chairman of the National Assembly Ganesh Timilsina to former Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota, several politicians, members of Parliament and government officials have visited China in the past six months.
“First, the greater frequency of the visits is indicative of a decade of the BRI, to which China has given utmost priority. They are organising several visits in order to promote the BRI in Nepal,” Gautam of the CSC said.
“Second, due to the Covid pandemic, the Chinese had imposed strong restrictions, which have now been lifted and they are travelling. Virtual discussions are not as effective as in-person ones. The third way to explain more visits from China is Prime Minister Dahal’s likely Beijing trip later this year,” Gautam added.