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Nepal rejects role in Washington's game

By LI YANG | China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-30 09:25

The Cabinet of Nepal decided on Monday with unanimous support of all parties that the country should stay away from the State Partnership Program of the United States.

After Kathmandu joined the US' Millennium Challenge Corporation compact in February, mainly due to mounting pressure from Washington, the US side has palpably stepped up its efforts to bolster the military dimension to their relations by pressing Nepal to join the SPP. The SPP is a US Department of Defense security cooperation program, something Washington has been trying to peddle to the country since 2015.

Although the SPP is outwardly peaceful in intent, it has deep-set military objectives with consequences for not only the country's security but also geopolitical situations given the sensitivity of Nepal's geographical location between India and China.

That's why Kathmandu worries that by joining the SPP, which is technically a core part of the US' "Indo-Pacific strategy", Nepal would be left in an awkward position of going around the sun to meet the moon. The SPP, which is against the country's long-term nonalignment and balanced diplomatic principles, would harm the country's national interests.

Nepal's rejection of the SPP shows how unpopular the US' "Indo-Pacific Strategy" is in the region, despite Washington's hoopla, as the countries know that the strategy exclusively serves the interests of the US.

From Central Asia to South Asia, from Northeast Asia to Southeast Asia, the US has markedly intensified its efforts to woo countries to its side in order to encircle China. But that has never been and will not be easy as the region cherishes its stability and common development.

People in the Asia-Pacific region have not forgotten the sufferings that were caused by the US' hot and cold wars.

It has become a consensus of the Asia-Pacific that China is an opportunity and a partner. Nepal's decision, which throws cold water on the attempt by Washington to drive a wedge between Nepal and China, may be just the beginning. More countries will give Washington the cold shoulder.

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