INTERVIEW WITH PROFESSOR WANG Hong-wei
A professor at the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies located in Beijing, China, 72-year old Wang Hong-wei is an influential expert on building China’s policy on Nepal. Wang talks to Sharad Adhikari in Beijing:
Q: Why did the monarchy end in Nepal?
Wang: There are three reasons for the end of monarchy in Nepal. First, the Shah Dynasty’s last King Gyanendra was unpopular. The general public believed Gyanendra was involved in the Royal Massacre. He may or may not have been behind the incident. Secondly, King Gyanendra took control of democracy and he did nothing to support the citizens. He increased his budget more than that of the past. Anti-monarchy protests sparked significantly when the condition of the royal institution was in such a state.
Q: Will your support continue should the Maoists exercise authoritarian rule?
Wang: Do the Nepali people want that kind of rule? I feel they don’t. The citizens of Nepal will decide what kind of system of rule they want in Nepal.
Q: The Constituent Assembly is drafting a new constitution and establishing a federal system in Nepal. What kind of national system, do you think, will be appropriate in Nepal?
Wang: Despite being a geographically small country, Nepal is full of different indigenous groups and languages. The country’s system must be made including all these aspects. A country may become weaker if it is federalised on the basis of caste. Nepal can become a strong and advanced country if the federal structure is focussed mainly on geography-based development instead of a caste-based one.
Q: How does China see the increasing role of India in Nepal’s politics?
Wang: China knows very well that India wants to turn Nepal into a second Bhutan or Sikkim. Moreover, Nepal may enter the process of “Sikkim-isation”. But, China must not let this situation occur. China will always lend its support to keep Nepal sovereign, free and united.
Q: What kind of support?
Wang: China is in favour of sovereignty, party-wise and patriotic unity in Nepal. But I think the time has not yet come for China to play an intervening role for that because the feeling of patriotism is still alive in Nepal.
Source: Excerpted from http://ekantipur.com.np