Nepal Geopolitics

Nepal Geopolitics

The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a state located in the Indian subcontinent, bordering India and the Chinese autonomous region of Tibet. From 1996 to 2006 the country faced a long civil war, initiated by the Maoist-inspired Communist Party of Nepal, with the aim of overthrowing the monarchy. The peace agreement that ended the war in 2006 therefore sanctioned the end of the Nepalese monarchy, an institution that lasted 240 years and whose ruler was known by the official title of Śrī Pañca Mahārājadhirāja, ‘Five times great king of kings ‘.

According to itypeusa, the reconciliation process that began in the aftermath of the signing of the peace agreement was somewhat troubled. The major political formations that emerged from the clashes were the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or UCPN (m), the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), or CPN (Uml), and the Nepalese Congress Party (Nc), of social democratic inspiration. In January 2007 a new interim Constitution was adopted, while in April 2008 the elections to the Constituent Assembly took place, which assigned the relative majority to the Ucpn (m).

However, the process of settling the new state stalled in the inconclusive outcome of the Assembly which should have finished its work in May 2010. The uncertainty of the political framework has led to a delay: the coalition government formed by the Ucpn (m) fell in May 2009. In February 2011, after a few months of stalemate, Jhala Nath Khanal of the CPN (Uml) was elected prime minister, also supported by the Maoist party. In May 2012 the Constituent Assembly, unable to reach an agreement on the new Constitution, was dissolved. At the same time, the leadership of the country was entrusted to a provisional government headed by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

The new elections of November 2013 produced a new Constituent Assembly, which saw the affirmation of the NC, followed by the CPN (Uml). The two parties have formed a coalition government, led by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala of the NC. Established in January 2014, the Assembly completed the drafting of the Constitution in September 2015. In October, elections held within the Constituent Assembly, which became the country’s parliament, entrusted Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli of the CPN (Uml) the role of Prime Minister.

The departure of the Maoists from the government seems to have shifted the geopolitical balance of the country in favor of India. The bond with New Delhi, the result of religious, cultural, linguistic and economic closeness, has historical roots: after the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950, the Peace and Friendship Treaty between India and Nepal played the important role of guaranteeing the independence of the latter. The agreements were renewed in 2001 along with others relating to defense and security. In 1996, the two countries signed an agreement for the production of hydroelectric power in the Mahakali River basin. India is currently the largest trading partner. The visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2014 appeared as an attempt by the Indian side to reaffirm its influence on Nepal and to obscure that of China. earthquake that hit the country in April and May 2015: India is in fact the country that has earmarked the most funds for reconstruction, followed by China.

Despite the fact that relations between the two countries have undergone a slight cooling, again following the marginalization of the Maoist Party, Beijing does not seem to want to abandon its Nepalese neighbor, with a view to balancing Indian influence in the Asian subcontinent. China is the second importing country for Kathmandu and one of the main investors in the country: the project for the construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the Seti River, in the west of the country, in which Beijing has invested, stands out. 1.6 billion dollars.

Outside the Asian continent, Nepal maintains friendly relations with the United States, which welcomed the marginalization of the Maoists, officially considered a terrorist organization by Washington. At the regional level, Nepal is among the promoters of multilateralism: it has encouraged the creation of a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) based in Kathmandu and which, in recent years, has co-opted countries such as the USA, China, South Korea, Japan, Iran and the European Union as observers. Finally, Kathmandu has participated in numerous UN peacekeeping missions and in 2004 joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Nepal Geopolitics