Kathmandu: The United States has said that whether to ratify the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) or not is Nepal’s sovereign decision.
In a press statement on Saturday evening, the US Embassy in Kathmandu said that whether Nepali leaders ratify MCC is a decision for Nepal to make, as a sovereign democratic nation, and Nepal’s decision alone.
The statement comes on the heels of a remark by a high-ranking Chinese official that China opposes “coercive diplomacy” of the USA in Nepal over the US assistance. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China opposes ‘coercive diplomacy,’ during a press conference on Friday, commenting on news that the US urged Nepal to endorse the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) by February 28.
[Related: China speaks about the US-funded MCC’s Nepal compact. Can Nepal’s leadership avert falling into a ‘geopolitical trap’?]
This $500 million MCC grant is a gift from the American people and a partnership between our nations that will bring jobs and infrastructure to Nepal and improve the lives of Nepalis, reads the statement.
This project was requested by the Nepali government and the Nepali people and designed to transparently reduce poverty and grow the economy of Nepal, the Embassy said in the statement.
Nepal’s ruling alliance is divided over parliamentary endorsement of the US assistance meant for the construction of transmission lines and road upgradation. The tabling of the MCC Compact has been delayed as top leaders in the alliance are still at odds.