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International relations

U.S. grant to Nepal swept up in superpower rivalry with China

Kathmandu in turmoil as Beijing turns 'coercion' accusation back on Washington

Demonstrators hurl stones at riot police during a protest against the $500 million U.S infrastructure grant in Kathmandu on Feb. 20.   © Reuters

KATHMANDU -- Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's attempt to ratify an American infrastructure grant has laid bare yet another friction point between the U.S. and China, while threatening to unravel his coalition government.

The government tabled the bill in the legislature this past Sunday, while hundreds took to the streets of Kathmandu to protest against it. The $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)-Nepal compact would fund power transmission lines and highway upgrades, but critics -- including some of Deuba's own coalition partners -- argue it would undermine the Himalayan nation's sovereignty.

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