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Global Dialogue and New Alliances

Even when the Congress foreign minister of the previous alliance visited Kathmandu, New York and Dubai to contact the Russian counterpart, it was not possible. However, as soon as the left coalition government is formed, Russia has promised to address Nepali concerns. The special phone conversation between the two counterparts at the time when the new foreign minister was appointed confirmed how much the geopolitical tension and interest are.
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The tone of the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC) has changed historically. In 2022, 'Unlearning Helplessness', 'Revision' in 2023 and this year 'Luz-Luz' have become slogans. When asked if the US-China tension was causing a major division globally, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, using an American slang, 'If you are not at the table of the international system, you will be on the menu.' If you are not the board, you will be the fish and meat of the dining table' (Global Times, 24 February 2024).

Global Dialogue and New Alliances

Indeed, the phrase 'if you're not at the table, you're on the menu' represents an egregious zero-return mentality. However, this is not the first time America has used such a phrase. In 1993, the same sentence was used in an American journal discussing the situation in the Middle East and Lebanon at the time. However, two hundred years ago, this mentality of the American ruler worked during the genocide and land encroachment against the indigenous people living in North America.

Although Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has put forward the idea that dialogue is a better platform than action, Beijing's competitive attitude with the US is becoming more aggressive. While the Chinese idea of ​​'engage and interact with each other, don't lecture, don't ignore each other, don't forget basic diplomacy' is being made public, the human slaughter in Gaza in the East of Europe is shocking justice lovers around the world.

MSC was attended by heads of state of 180 countries, foreign and defense ministers and many analysts from security experts. At a time when Israel is bombarding Rafa, a small town inside Gaza with a population of over 20 million people, it is making modern mankind seem innocent. America's State of the Union to 'address the humanitarian loss' has also proved to be hollow. Instead of instructing Netanyahu to call for a cease-fire, the US is making a mockery of the world by dropping food packets from warplanes into Gaza. The US-Britain's drone attack on Yemen's Houthi rebels' stronghold has raised fears that reducing the maritime tension in the Red Sea will increase the global economic burden. In the explosive situation of this issue, world leaders were raving at the Munich Defense Jamboree as if they were warming themselves by sitting on a burning stove.

On the eve of the Munich conference, President Lula da Silva of South American powerhouse Brazil was speaking as the chief guest at the African Union meeting (February 17-18) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Before that, Lula signed a strategic partnership agreement with Egypt, tightening the Global South and further exciting the West. Shortly thereafter, at the G-20 foreign ministers' meeting in Rio de Janeiro (February 22–23), Antony Blinken met separately with Lula, followed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Brazil has been elected as the president of that group from the G-20 conference held in Delhi last year. After President Lula's return to power, President Lula, who does not like the US, is in a situation where Washington cannot ignore Brazil, even if it does not want to. After Lula, speaking in Addis Ababa, compared the brutal massacre in Gaza to Hitler's anti-Semitic holocaust, Tel Aviv has added to the geopolitical conflict by declaring Lula a "persona non grata" who does not want to enter Israel. Earlier, South Africa, on behalf of the African Union, filed a lawsuit in The Hague declaring Benjamin Netanyahu a war criminal.

While the geopolitical debate is raging in the West-South world, some dramatic changes have been seen in South Asia. Maldives has signed a military agreement with China moving away from India. The move is part of President Muizzou's push to develop closer ties with China since he took office in November. Muizzu's India Out election campaign promised to remove Indian troops from Maldivian soil and restore 'lost' national sovereignty (CNN, March, 6). The process of withdrawal of Indian troops from the capital Male has already started. Coincidentally, on March 6, when the Defense Ministers of Maldives and China were signing a strategic military agreement in Beijing, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal signed an agreement in Kathmandu to form a government consisting of left-wing parties including the UML, which is considered close to the north, by displacing the parties considered friendly to the south-west, including the Congress, from their alliance. If the incident in Maldives was expected, the new development of Kathmandu will shock everyone inside and outside the country.

Most of the Indian media reacted strongly to the change of power in Kathmandu as New Delhi's defeat, Beijing's victory. "The Chinese are working tirelessly to revive such an alliance. Now it is bearing fruit. Although this development is internal to Nepal, it is a step towards China's goal of uniting all left-wing parties. India has traditionally felt more comfortable dealing with a government comprising democratic parties like the Congress, which have historical ties to India and our freedom movement (Ranjit Ray, The Hindustan Times, March 7, 2024). It is better for India to focus on connectivity and development rather than let Nepali politicians continue the game of 'musical chairs' as per the 'neighbourhood first' policy' (Rakesh Sood, The Hindu, March 4, 2024). Perhaps the volume of concern of the South Block can be estimated from such a perception of the former Indian ambassadors for Nepal, who are probably in tune with the Nepal policy of the Indian government. Coincidentally, after the split into three parts on 23 February 2077, for the first time all the three communist components are standing together through the new power equation. From the rostrum of the Parliament, Prime Minister Dahal gave a detailed explanation of the need to change the alliance to stop activities that are against the spirit of the constitution and to fulfill the goal of good governance. This means that there will be no fundamental difference in foreign policy. For Nepal, there should be no doubt that Beijing and Delhi are not competing forces or using one against the other.

Sweden has become the 32nd country to join the US military camp in a campaign to make NATO a more dangerous front for the world superpower. The Ukraine crisis, which is becoming the main topic of national elections in more than 70 countries this year, is threatening to further inflame the global debate. With Putin's fifth term in power, the American belief that the threat of nuclear war is imminent is taking a new turn. To face such an uncertain international situation, the efforts of Global-South and Global-North can be considered in order for countries to focus on their national interests and not get involved in the status quo camp conflict.

After the Munich conference, which can be said to be another big one in the world, with the participation of foreign ministers of more than a dozen countries including experts from 115 countries, the Prime Minister of Greece and Indian Prime Minister Modi launched the Raisina Dialogue and claimed that India is the world's public square. Earlier, on February 11-24, a 'Dialogue of Tolerance and Civilization' was held in the center of the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, with more emphasis on diplomatic underdevelopment partnership. But the main concern of all these dialogues and conferences seems to be focused on the growing global strategic tensions, the Ukraine crisis and the Gaza massacre, which will affect more than half of the world's population this year, with the establishment of right-wing populists.

'Indeed, the post-Cold War era ushered in remarkable progress. But what we are experiencing now is more than a test of the post-Cold War order and its end' (Anthony Blinken, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, September 13, 2023). As the US itself has explained, the end of the Cold War order and the emergence of a multipolar world have created both challenges and opportunities. This is why the West, with the help of a few half-truths, has started to interpret the geopolitical tension as a crisis on the liberal democracy itself. "Instead of adopting liberal principles, autocratic leaders have started to strengthen their power at home and abroad by abusing the liberal system. Geopolitical tensions between the major powers have continued to rise as many non-Western powers strike against perceived Western hegemony and the order created by the US and its allies' (MSC Report, 2024). The meaning of this conclusion is clear - a sophisticated strategic clash at the global level is not far away.

In late 2022, historian and Foreign Policy magazine columnist Adam Tooze seized on the zeitgeist and wrote: 'The world is in the midst of a polycrisis.' He has argued that the mainstay of foreign policy is not driven by ideology or interest groups in principle, but instead by protecting public opinion that protects the business interests of American citizens. Copeland argues that the US State Department must continue to read. As trade continues to shape American foreign policy, doing so opens up a new set of questions about how economic interests matter. When future trade prospects are the factors driving foreign policy, it matters whether these are limited to trade exports or imports' (ibid., Copeland, p.355). Copeland has warned that the world has reached a 'real politic' where everything is done only for commercial interests by raising such questions that cannot be denied anywhere.

The geopolitical tension and interest are so different that when the previous coalition government collapsed and a new foreign minister was appointed, there was a special kind of phone conversation between the counterparts of Nepal and Russia rather than 'sustaining tradition'. While the Congress foreign minister of the previous alliance was not able to contact the Russian counterpart even when he visited Kathmandu, New York and Dubai. But as soon as the left coalition government is formed in Nepal, Sergey Lavrov, who is holding the responsibility of the foreign ministry for the longest term in the world, has promised to address Nepali concerns by talking to his counterpart Narayankaji Shrestha.

When there was a Congress leader in the Congress-led government and the foreign minister, Moscow was watching the diplomatic behavior of Kathmandu with a cold eye after putting Nepal on the American pole in the Ukraine crisis against the principle of forced neutrality. In this context, a new diplomatic wire has been connected between Kathmandu and Moscow. In his last address to the US Congress (State of the Union), President Biden made a fiery speech and said that the Western world would defeat Moscow very quickly in the Ukraine war, while French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized the possibility of deploying NATO troops on Ukrainian soil and said - 'We certainly We are approaching a moment in Europe where there will be no place for cowards' (Foreign Policy, March 8, 2024).

This context is therefore particularly noteworthy for us. In the recent days, more than what ideology Prime Minister Dahal represents, because of how he has reacted to the economic interests advanced by Washington, Beijing and New Delhi, these three powers have changed the ancient notion that he and his Maoist party are untouchable. Vivid examples are approval of MCC, construction of more than a dozen hydropower projects between Nepal and India and power trade agreement, since BRI Jhamela has become the main determinant of foreign policy.

Isn't this the reason for the western-southern 'smooth relationship' that Dahal is considered more practical than Deuba and Oli on the throne of Singha Darbar? Needless to say, Beijing's uneasiness hangs over the BRI itself. It is a strange thing that after the new alliance Beijing seems more enthusiastic and the South-West a little more worried, but the opinion expressed by Delhi that "no matter what kind of alliance is formed, mutual partnership will not make any difference as long as there is no obstacle to the economic project" has clarified the changed diplomatic trend.

प्रकाशित : फाल्गुन २९, २०८० ०८:४७
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