Kathmandu: The Janamat Party, a partner in the ruling alliance in Nepal, has demanded the expulsion of the Chinese Ambassador to the country, Cheng Song, over his “undiplomatic remarks”.
Abdul Khan, the former minister in the incumbent Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government and vice president of the party, in a meeting on Thursday, demanded that the Foreign Ministry seek clarification from him and declare Ambassador Song persona non grata.
Abdul Khan, Nepal’s member of Parliament, said, “Nepal is a sovereign and independent nation. The same is inscribed in our Constitution. A foreign diplomat or envoy from another country is not supposed to determine our foreign policy. How we conduct our relations with any other country is to be decided by no one else. But an ambassador, on a public forum, spoke about the age-old relationship between Nepal and India, spewing venom. This is highly condemnable. If Nepal is truly a free country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should immediately summon the (Chinese) ambassador and declare him persona non grata.”
Further, Khan emphasised that the Chinese Ambassador should refrain from making statements about Nepal and India, as it falls outside the purview of his diplomatic responsibilities.
The Chinese ambassador, during an event earlier this week, advised Nepal to deal cautiously with India when it comes to trade and other aspects. Song, in his address, sought to enhance Chinese influence on Nepal while portraying India in a negative light.
The Chinese envoy said, “Unfortunately, you have a neighbour like India. It has a huge market, and huge potential that you can tap into but at the same time, its policy towards Nepal and other neighbors is not so friendly and not beneficial to Nepal. We call it policy constraints.”
The Chinese envoy made the comment during a discussion over Kalyan Rokka’s presentation, claiming that Nepal continues to suffer losses in trade with India.
Song said, “Every Nepalese politician, leader, businessman, and even ordinary people are talking about exporting more electricity to India and China. They say that’s how Nepal will have an independent economy. What is the reality? I want to share with you my Nepalese friends that in the last fiscal year, you exported 10 billion Nepali Rupees worth of electricity to India. How much did you import from India? You imported 19 Billion Nepali Rupees worth of electricity from India. You have a deficit in electricity trade, one of the products you’re proud of, and you think it would bring you economic independence.”
It was the first time that a Chinese ambassador to Nepal spoke publicly about the country’s diplomatic relations with another nation. It is being seen as a breach of diplomatic etiquette.