PM expresses support to Xi’s OBOR project

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 25, 2017-

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has conveyed to Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli that Nepal desires to become part of China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

During a meeting with Zhang on Friday in Hainan province of China, PM Dahal said that Nepal would support Chinese President Xi Jinping’s flagship initiative to build a modern-day Silk Road across Asia for which China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids across Asia, Africa and Europe.

PM Dahal left for China on Thursday to attend the Boao Forum for Asia.

During the meeting, PM Dahal and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang also discussed matters related to railways, energy production, resumption of Tatopani border point, and opening of new border points to facilitate trade between the two countries.

While assuring Nepal’s commitment to One-China policy, PM Dahal also told the Chinese leader that “my visit would help strengthen bilateral relations between Nepal and China” who are celebrating 62nd years of their diplomatic ties.

Stating that Nepal and China have enjoyed trouble-free relations for ages and the bilateral ties have always remained cordial, PM Dahal affirmed that Nepal will not allow any kind of anti-China activities on her soil.

PM Dahal also made it clear that there was a need of understanding between both sides on construction of railway links along Rasuwa-Kathmandu-Pokhara- Lumbini, establishment of energy connectivity, finalising the transit protocol, development of infrastructure projects and construction of petroleum reservoirs, cross-border transmission lines and special economic zones to promote bilateral trade.

“While underlining the importance of the Kodari Highway as a historic symbol of friendship between the two countries, the prime minister emphasised the need for early opening of Tatopani border point by taking all appropriate measures,” read a statement issued by the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing after the meeting between Dahal and Zhang. According to the statement, the Chinese side said it has taken up the matter seriously. “The Chinese side also agreed to consider opening other border points for the promotion of trade, tourism, investment and people-to-people movement,” the statement read.

Stating that Nepal and China are working closely for the last 62 years after the establishment of the diplomatic ties, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang expressed hope that the visit of PM Dahal would further cement the bilateral ties.

Zhang also noted Dahal’s meeting with Chinese President Xi in Goa of India during the BRICS BIMSTEC Outreach Summit and ongoing China visit as “very important”. China always respects Nepal’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and its independence, he added.

PM Dahal also appreciated China’s support in Nepal’s development efforts and particularly mentioned the support received for the post-earthquake reconstruction, according to the embassy.

The two sides also discussed ways and means to enhance political, economic, social and cultural ties.

PM Dahal is scheduled to address the Boao Forum for Asia on Saturday.

He will meet Chinese President Xi in Beijing on Monday.

Published: 25-03-2017 08:15

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