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Neighbours high on China’s foreign policy agenda

- DEWAN RAI, BEIJING
Neighbours high on China’s foreign policy agenda

Aug 25, 2014-China attaches great importance to its neighbourhood, as the country’s policy is to help its neighbours prosper for peaceful coexistence, according to the Communist Party of China.

The CPC and the Chinese government have placed neighbourhood high on their foreign policy agenda.

“Nepal and China have both adopted the principle of peaceful co-existence, which is about being good neighbours,” said Chen Fengxiang, vice minister at the International Department of the CPC Central Committee that looks after South Asia. “We believe the development of our country should benefit our neighbours too.”

The remarks come on the heels of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kathmandu last month, where he publicised his “neighbours first” diplomacy. Modi visited Nepal following his Bhutan tour soon after he took office.

Chen said that the efforts of the new government in India to strengthen ties with its neighbours would help contribute to peace and stability in the region.

“We are not rivals. We have more goodwill than rivalry,” said Chen of China’s relations with India. “Our leadership has agreed to take cooperation between our countries to a next level.”

The CPC has assessed that Nepal-China relations have reached a new high after the two sides decided in 2009 to establish and develop the Nepal-China Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation on the basis of the five principles of peaceful co-existence. “The development of relationship has served both the countries and their peoples,” he said.

Highlighting Nepal’s hydropower, agriculture, tourism and human resource potential for growth, he argued that Nepal’s economy would thrive despite the unfavourable political scenario.

“China is willing to develop professional relationship in the sectors of business, security and culture,” he added.

Asked if China would extend the recently launched Lhasa-Shigatse railway to the Nepal border, Chen said the Chinese government has taken the call positively. The route will be beneficial for the two countries to boost business and cultural ties.

During his first visit to Nepal in May, the Nepali leadership had urged China to expand the railway all the way to Kathmandu. “We have forwarded the request to the concerned authority and China is positive about it,” said Chen.

Published: 25-08-2014 08:33

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