Now Chief Justice, Nepal Army head visiting ChinaChief Justice will go to Xinjiang, army chief will attend Beijing-Xiangshan Forum, a security dialogue platform.
China has in recent months stepped up its engagement across several fronts in Nepal. It is sending several high-profile leaders and officials to Nepal in order to engage with different state entities while it is also inviting Nepali leaders, top officials and civil society members, among others, to China. One of its goals is to build support for various programmes launched by President Xi Jinping.
After several high-profile visits to China this year including those by Vice-president Ramsahaya Prasad Yadav, National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Timilsina, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Deputy Chairman of the National assembly Urmila Aryal and other senior ministers and government officials, the northern neighbour has invited Nepal’s chiefs of the judiciary and military for official visits.
Chief Justice Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha and Chief of the Army Staff General Prabhu Ram Sharma are visiting two different Chinese cities at the end of this month, to attend separate events.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha is currently in China. He led a Nepali delegation to the third Belt and Road Initiative Forum for international cooperation held on 17-18 October. He is currently recuperating at a Beijing-based hospital after undergoing a heart procedure.
The hospital said he is recovering with stable vital signs. In a short video message on Friday, Shrestha said his condition is improving and he has been shifted from the intensive care to the general ward.
After a long time, China has invited the Chief Justice of Nepal to attend a function in China’s Xinjiang province that is often in the news in the Western media for human rights violations of its minority Muslim community.
With both the Western countries and China putting pressure on Nepal to toe their respective lines on events in Xinjiang, Nepal has often chosen to abstain from related UN votes.
Chief Justice Shrestha is paying an official visit to China from October 28 at the invitation of Zhang Jun, the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme People’s Court of China, said Supreme Court officials.
Chief Justice Shrestha will leave Kathmandu on October 28 in order to mark the first China (Kashgar)-Central and South Asia Legal Forum being held on the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Information officer at the Supreme Court Govinda Prasad Ghimire.
Ghimire said Chief Justice Shrestha will attend a function organised by three law-related organisations. This will be Ghimire’s first foreign visit after assuming the top post of the judiciary in August.
“China wants to have close cooperation with Nepal’s law enforcement agencies, judiciary, parliament and other key policymaking bodies,” a ruling party leader said, adding, “The upcoming visit is expected to solidify the relationship between the judiciaries of the two countries.”
Three Chinese law-related organisations, Law Society of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Law Society of Guangdong Province and China Legal Exchange Center are jointly holding a three-day function in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China, said Ghimire. The event will kick off on October 29.
In recent months, two high-level delegations from the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) visited several Chinese cities and interacted with the leaders and officials.
Likewise, Chief of the Army Staff General Sharma is visiting Beijing from October 27 to November 2 to participate in the Beijing-Xiangshan Forum, said Krishna Prasad Bhandari, Brigadier General of Nepal Army.
The forum, whose original name is Xiangshan Forum, was initiated by the China Association of Military Science (CAMS) in 2006 as a track 2 platform for Asia-Pacific security dialogue.
It was upgraded to track 1.5 (track 1 plus track 2) in the fifth forum in 2014 when it started involving participants from defence and military establishments, heads of international organisations, former political personalities and retired generals, as well as renowned scholars from both in and out of the Asia-Pacific region, according to the forum’s website.
General Sharma had been eager to visit China for a long time. It is unclear whether General Sharma would ask for military assistance of any kind during the visit.
“I am not aware of any agreements to be signed during the visit,” said Bhandari, who is also the spokesperson of the Nepal Army.