Prachanda makes historic visit to China

From 11-19 October 2009, a top level delegation of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPNM), led by its chairman, Comrade Prachanda, visited the People’s Republic of China at the invitation of the Communist Party of China (CPC). This visit marked a new and higher stage in the development of friendly relations between the communists of Nepal and China, being the most extensive and intensive exchange between the two parties to date. As Prachanda declared before he set off for China:

This will be one of the highest-level  meetings that have ever taken place between the two communist parties of Nepal and China. This visit will not only enhance ties between the two parties but will also contribute to strengthen Nepal and China’s age-old relationship.”

The previous month, Comrade Prachanda led another party delegation that visited the Chinese special administrative region of Hong Kong.

In Beijing, Comrade Prachanda had an important meeting with Comrade Jia Qinglin. A member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Comrade Jia chairs China’s highest united front body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and ranks fourth in the CPC leadership.

According to a report carried by the Xinhua News Agency, Jia told the visitors: “‘Your visit to China will have a positive and far-reaching impact on relations between the two countries as well as relations between the two parties’…

“Jia appreciated Nepal’s firm support on issues concerning China’s core interests, saying China hopes relevant parties in Nepal could advance the peace process…

“China is willing to work with Nepal in deepening substantial cooperation, enhancing party-to-party communication and pushing forward China-Nepal neighbourly partnership, Jia said.

“Prachanda spoke highly of China’s foreign policy of independence and peace, saying his party would support the efforts China has made to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The UCPNM will learn from the CPC’s experience in governance through inter-party exchanges to make joint contribution to our traditional friendship, he said.” (Jia Qinglin pledges closer ties with Nepal, Xinhua, 12 October)

Prachanda also had a meeting with Comrade Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the CPC and Chinese President, on the fringes of China’s 11th National Games held in the eastern city of Jinan. And he was able to fulfil his long-held wish to visit Shaoshan, the birthplace of Chairman Mao.

Speaking on his return to Nepal, Prachanda said that Hu was positive about providing any kind of assistance to Nepal’s peace process and to his country’s economic development. He said that it had been an important and positive visit, strengthening the relations between the two parties and two countries in many ways. A few days later the UCPNM Central Committee met and endorsed these conclusions.

Speaking to journalists at Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan airport, Prachanda said that the Chinese government, communist party and the cadres he had met all wanted a successful conclusion to Nepal’s peace process. According to the Telegraph Nepal Prachanda said:

We witnessed that there is greater interest and concern as well for Nepal’s overall  economic development. As far as our party is concerned, wherever we went and whosoever we met, we witnessed that there is great excitement for the Maoist party.

In Hunan, the birthplace of Mao Zedong, when we told the Chinese people that the Maoists’ party of Nepal was the largest party in the Constituent Assembly, they felt proud of our achievement.”

Prachanda further clarified that his party would exhibit the utmost flexibility to achieve consensus and unity in Nepali politics and would hold talks with the leaders of other political parties in this regard.

Nevertheless, if our efforts are further ignored, we may declare another round of struggle”, he added. (‘India need not fear from trip to China: Nepal Maoist leader’, Telegraph Nepal, 20 October)

Another Nepalese publication reported Prachanda as saying that the “Chinese people are proud of the fact that the UCPNM, which is inspired by the ideology and military strategies of Mao Zedong, has become the largest political party in Nepal. However, he said, differences between the Chinese Communist Party and UCPN exist. ‘While we highly esteem the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese say it was a great loss,’ he said. ‘But they have deep sympathy for the People’s War and the ongoing peace process’.” (‘Will hold talks with positive thinking: Maoist chairman’, Republica, 19 October)

The developing friendship between the Chinese and Nepalese communists is not only in the interests of the two parties and peoples but of all the Asian countries as well as the entire international communist movement. Lalkar warmly acclaims the success of Comrade Prachanda’s visit to China.