Thursday, 13 June, 2024

Upshots Of NCP-CCP Agreement

Kushal Pokharel


In one of the rarest incidents in the history of memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Nepal and China at the highest political level, ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) has formally signed an agreement to promote the political exchanges between the two communist parties at individual, institutional and party level. The 6-point agreement stresses on raising the bilaterally beneficial agenda of communist parties in international forum. Meanwhile, channelising visit, training, study and research through party based mechanism is also on top of the agenda .The MOU also mentions deepening public relations with civil society, media and intellectuals along with imparting ideological trainings to the party cadres. Against the backdrop of the Chinese President most likely visit to Nepal in the next few weeks, profound interaction has been observed between the two parties recently. And this MOU is being promoted as a cornerstone of setting an environment for the same. The visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister recently also appears as a major incident to make necessary preparations for making the high level visit a success.
Inking the fresh deal, the negotiating parties have vowed to conduct ideological interactions including seminars in the future as well. In this regard, a two-day symposium between the two parties was held in Kathmandu this week to intensify the discussion on ideology, party organisation and development. With the current Chinese governance model emerging strong in advancing the agenda of economic prosperity crisis has surfaced of late with the rising Sino-American tension. At this juncture, it is important to analyse the present Chinese model propounded by Xi Jinping. The doctrine popularly called ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ constitutes a roadmap for the development of China in the next three decades. Equally noticeable is that Xi is being projected as the greatest Chinese leader equivalent to the ranks of Mao in China.
With the statute of the CCP officially endorsing the Xi doctrine, the level of importance attached to his ideology can easily be inferred. Eradicating poverty, opening up the country’s markets, building a world class military and ultimately becoming the world’s superpower are the major goals of this doctrine. Contrary to the Mao’s model of ruling China, the Xi model marks a significant departure particularly in terms of fostering economic development and prosperity. Some scholars consider the Xi doctrine more economic than political in nature as ‘market socialism’ lies at the heart of it. Though there is a single-party rule, private sector involvement in development is top priority. In this light, the Chinese model has posed a grave challenge to the question of whether democracy with various socio-political and economic rights for the citizens is really a pre-requisite for development. Amid this scenario, even the proponents of capitalism like Fukuyama has hinted at the growing prominence of the communist ideology in the near future.
In the aftermath of this unprecedented agreement, mixed reactions have surfaced in Nepal’s political circle. While some parties have observed this political development with great suspicion, differing views have been cropped up among the leaders of the NCP itself. Learning from the experiences of any communist party or revolution isn’t a new matter. Even in the past, various forums have been utilised between the communist parties of the two countries to discuss various agenda.
What is important to understand here is that it is impossible to import the political ideology of any party and implement in another country. In the context of the above stated political development between NCP and CCP, it is almost impossible for Nepal to adopt the Chinese political model in the current system as Nepal’s politics is characterised by democracy, rule of law, adult franchise, civil liberties among others. Hence, the suspicion that NCP will adopt the single-party rule is baseless. On the development front, it is possible to take positive lessons and see its relevance in our own context. But the blind adaptation of even the development model holds no significance for carving a long term development path of Nepal.
So there is a greater need of clarity within the NCP as to the main goal of the recent agreement. Imparting a clear message to the party cadres will be equally crucial in order to alleviate the disgruntled cadres who are in deep confusion in the absence of adequate training and orientation. Since CCP is largely interested in pushing the economic agendas particular under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) brand, NCP also needs to accord top priority to the agenda of economic prosperity and development. Adequate preparation before sitting in such bilateral negotiations is a prerequisite to reap any possible benefits.

(The author is a member of the Social Science and Research Faculty at NIMS College.)