Timeline of Major Events
||President Bhandari was awarded Trailblazer Award 2022.
||Chinese Vice Minister for Culture and Tourism Li Qun visited Nepal amidst the election.
||Nepal Army awarded controversial Chinese contractors.
||Indian Ambassador met Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba post-election.
President Bhandari on Trailblazer Award 2022
On November 10, 2022 President Bidya Devi Bhandari was awarded
with the Trailblazer Award 2022 in Iceland at the Reykjavik Global Forum–Women Leaders. In that event, President Bhandari spoke about the progress made by Nepal in the areas of gender and social inclusion, inclusive democracy, human rights activism, non-discriminatory practices among others. In addition to this, President Bhandari focused on implications of climate change in Nepal and called for global support to help the country deal with the climate change related challenges. Sima Bahous, Executive Director of the UN Women expressed her appreciation towards Nepal’s growth on women empowerment. Participating in such events paves a way for communication with the international community and helps to disseminate a message regarding the progress made by the country in any sector. These sorts of international forums could also be beneficial for Nepal in directing the attention of the international community which creates a space for better bi-lateral and multi-lateral relations in future.
Chinese Vice Minister for Culture and Tourism Li Qun visits Nepal amidst the election
When Nepal’s federal and provincial election were just around the corner, Chinese Vice Minister for Culture and Tourism Li Qun who is also the head of the National Cultural Heritage Administration paid a visit
to Nepal on November 11, 2022. The visit lasted for 5 days. Although the visit was claimed to be mainly for personal purpose – to observe heritage sites built by China
– Nepal government, however, was reluctant about the visit at the eve of election. Despite government’s hesitations, Chinese embassy insisted the visit and confirmed delegates’ arrival. Officials at the PMO said that Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba restrained from meeting foreign dignitaries and was also against receiving foreign visitors due to election campaign schedules. The Embassy of Nepal in Beijing were unaware about the visit which is reflective of negligence on the part of the embassy. The government should have undertaken necessary steps to not allow high- profile visits at the eve of the election – and the government should have formally communicated through the embassy to postpone such visits. The failure to do so reveals carelessness on the government’s part as well.
Nepal Army awards controversial Chinese contractors
On November 11, 2022, Nepal Army (NA) awarded the contract to construct Kathmandu-Tarai- Madhes Expressway (Fast Track) to a controversial Chinese contractor company. In the global tenders, out of 12 companies that submitted their proposals, 5 were selected but China First Highway Engineering company was not on the list. The company then had filed a complaint to the Public Procurement Review Committee saying that it was unfair to be not allowed
to participate in the tender. After the complaint was filed, submission of financial proposal was delayed. The review committee of Public Procurement then asked NA to allow the Chinese company to participate - it is speculated that this move could have been undertaken under the Chinese influence. It comes as a surprise that the same company which was disqualified by the NA has now been awarded with the contract to construct the fast-track project. According the OnlineKhabar, the NA gave Letter of Intent
to the controversial company under the pressure from Manoj Krishna Sapkota who is the chairman of the committee. The Chinese manipulation in the bidding process and Nepalese government unable to take a stand could turn out to be an economic loss to Nepal. This is just one among many cases in which China has tried to manipulate the decision-making process. Such undiplomatic practices were commonly observed when the Kathmandu administration was run by the left party alliances.
Indian Ambassador meets Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba post-election
On November 26, 2022, Indian envoy to Nepal H.E. Mr. Naveen Srivastava met
the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal immediately after the federal and provincial polls. Ambassador Srivastava then held
second round of meeting on December 04, 2022 with PM Deuba. Advisor of Foreign Affairs to the PM told media that the meeting was a routine meet ups. It is reported that Ambassador Srivastava had discussed
election results, and the future of the government coalition with PM Deuba. Since no representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was present
, there is no official record of the meeting which has led some to speculate that those visits could have been guided with a motive to influence coalition politics. Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs had expressed India’s readiness to work with any government.