[Marxism] Chinese President Meets Taiwanese Opposition Leader

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 13 11:02:12 MDT 2005


Walter wrote:
>EIGHTEEN years ago. That's quite a long time, in my book.

Green Left Weekly July 14, 2004
NEPAL: Beijing pledges to help suppress Maoist rebels
In-Depth Coverage

By Eva Cheng

Following a mid-June visit to Beijing, Nepal’s chief of army staff General 
Pyar Jung Thapa revealed to state radio and television that China would 
step up “security cooperation” with Nepal. This will improve Katmandu’s 
ability to militarily counter the anti-monarchy insurgency that was started 
in 1996.

Leading that offensive is the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). The CPN(M) 
describes its armed struggle as a “people’s war” that has extended to most 
parts of Nepal.

While in Beijing for a week, Thapa held talks with top military officials 
such as China’s defence minister General Cao Gangchuan, and General Liang 
Guanglie, chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army. Neither side has 
revealed the extent of China’s military assistance to Nepal.

However, on June 16, the official Xinhua News Agency reported: “[General] 
Liang spoke highly of the bilateral ties between China and Nepal and their 
armies
 relations between the two armed forces also witnessed continuous 
development
”

Xinhua added: “The Nepalese people thanked China for its support in time of 
need and hoped to increase cooperation with China in the fight against 
terrorism and other fields.”

To decode, “the Nepalese people” here refers to Katmandu’s ruling regime, 
with its highly interventionist monarchy, and “terrorism” includes any 
activities that threaten or undermine this ruling oligarchy. Top of 
Katmandu’s list of threats in recent years is the rising military challenge 
of the Nepalese Maoists.

In a March 25 statement, the CPN(M) chairperson Prachanda explained the 
goals of his party’s struggle by stating, “The old state wants to confine 
the sovereign right of the people in the hands of the feudal king and 
emperors, just as in the medieval age, whereas our Party wants to establish 
the fundamental right of the people practically”.

Nepal’s ruling class came mainly from northern India, and brought with it a 
highly oppressive caste system. The bulk of the Nepali Maoists’ followers 
are from the lower castes.

The CPN(M)’s guerrilla offensive in mountainous Nepal shows every sign of 
enjoying mass support. Its successful weapons raids have shown access to 
superior intelligence about troops movements, and have put it in a strong 
position against the poorly equipped” royal army”.

In its March 25 statement, the CPN(M) reiterated its willingness to accept 
United Nation mediation to end the civil war, which has spread to at least 
50 of Nepal’s 75 districts. A 2004 globalsecurity.org study reported that 
the Nepalese Maoists control seven such districts and have significant 
presence in 17 others.

In May 2002, Nepalese prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba launched a campaign 
to solicit military help overseas. Apart from India, a traditional source 
of assistance, Katmandu has also received some assistance from the US 
(US$20 million in the 2002 financial year plus “military training”), and 
Britain. Belgium has also been selling Nepal weaponry.

Beijing has been providing Nepal with economic aid since 1956, totalling 
US$1.5 billion as at July 2002. However, China’s military assistance to 
Nepal is rarely publicised. The last known major military transaction 
between the two countries took place in 1988, under which Nepal imported 
anti-aircraft guns and other weapons from China. India, which has a 
dominating 1950 “peace and friendship” treaty with Nepal and a 1962 border 
war with China, took offence at this. It punished its tiny land-locked 
neighbour in 1989 with a trade and transit blockade, lasting 15 months.

Beijing is acutely aware of Nepal’s strategic importance to its western 
frontier. The tiny Himalayan country of around 23 million people is 
sandwiched between Chinese Tibet and India. It is the main conduit through 
which hundreds of thousands of Tibetans fled to India and has become the 
home of an estimated 30,000 Tibetans in exile.

Nepal’s further evolution into a haven for Tibetans will greatly help the 
Nepalese struggle for independence. It will also weaken Nepal’s role as a 
buffer zone for China from India. Delhi’s increasing military co-operation 
with George Bush’s US regime after 9/11 has increased Beijing’s sense of 
vulnerability.

Despite its Maoist identification, the CPN(M) has not won Beijing’s 
blessing. By the time the CPN(M) was formed, Beijing had led China some way 
into a pro-capitalist transformation in which revolutionary solidarity has 
little relevance.

Even earlier, Beijing’s foreign policy had hardly been driven by 
solidarity. In the early 1970s, for example, the privileged bureaucracy 
that had already come to dominate government in Beijing put its desire to 
appease Washington ahead of the need to support progressive struggles.

After the Yahya Khan dictatorship’s early 1971 mass slaughter of the 
Bengalese in what was then east Pakistan, Chinese leader Zhou Enlai 
extended unreserved support to Khan. Zhou even called the struggle of the 
75 million Bengalese, the quest of “a handful of individuals”.

In March 1971, the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party also launched a bloody 
repression of a fast developing mass youth organisation, the People’s 
Liberation Front (JVP), that was then mobilising young people against the 
bourgeois parties’ betrayals. Thousands of JVP supporters were killed. Zhou 
soon wrote to the SLFP, congratulating it for having brought under control 
“the chaotic situation created by a handful of persons who style themselves 
as ‘Guevarist’ and into whose ranks foreign spies have sneaked
”.

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