PM: Nepal committed to past deals with China

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 17, 2017-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has assured the visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang that his government remains committed to implementing the past agreements, including the Belt and Road Initiative,  signed with China. 

This comes amid concerns from some quarters that the Deuba government has not been able to put in place mechanisms to enforce the 10 broad framework agreements signed between the two countries during then prime minister KP Oli’s visit to China in March last year. 

The Chinese side is learnt to have been keen to get the framework agreements pushed forward. 

Some of the agreements signed between Nepal and China look to diversify Nepal’s trade and transit point, thereby reducing Nepal’s dependency on India. 

Likewise, ways to implement the agreements reached between Nepal and China including the assistance to Nepal through the Belt and Road Initiatives pact were also discussed during a meeting between Deuba and Wang. 

The Chinese side reiterated that Beijing wants to boost trade and financial activities by linking China with Nepal through roads and railway networks, said sources, adding that Wang praised Nepal for its diplomatic capacity to stick to “One-China policy”. 

Besides implementing the past accords related to trade, investment, energy, transit, exploration of petroleum products in Nepal, connectivity, infrastructure and tourism, the prime minister also told the visiting Chinese vice premier that the framework agreement on the Belt and Road Initiative that Nepal signed in May is also equally important.

“We will continue to pursue the past accords with China and in this context, the BRI is a very important agreement,” PM Deuba told the visiting Chinese delegation. 

Wang, who arrived in Kathmandu on Monday on a four-day visit, is the seniormost Chinese official to visit Nepal in last five years. 

During the meeting, the prime minister and the Chinese delegation also discussed extension of Chinese rail up to and beyond Nepal-China border and upgradation and maintenance of the Kodari Highway. 

According to the Dinesh Bhattarai, foreign relations adviser to PM Deuba, Wang appreciated Nepal’s desire to take the past accords forward and assured full cooperation from the Chinese side. 

PM Deuba also raised the issue of Nepal’s growing trade deficit with China and urged Beijing to provide more access to Nepali products, according to Bhattarai. The Chinese vice premier said that China will always stand in favour of political stability and development in Nepal and communicated the message of the Chinese President Xi Jinping that China wants to see Nepal on the path of development. 

“I have come with the message of President Xi. China has always stood for political stability and development in Nepal. We want to take our neighbours like Nepal along on the path of development,” said Wang during the meeting. He stressed the need to expand the scope of assistance and cooperation between the two countries.

According to Bhattarai, Wang said the Chinese president attaches high importance to Nepal-China ties. “President Xi will visit Nepal soon. He has been looking for appropriate moment for the visit,” Bhattarai quoted Wang as saying.

We are looking forward to welcoming the Chinese President in Nepal, Deuba told the visiting Chinese delegation. PM Deuba also recalled his China visit in 1996. 

Wang also invited PM Deuba, on behalf of President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, to visit China. 

Wang also called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday. 

Both the President and the prime minister also thanked the Chinese government for its assistance of $1 million for the victims of recent natural disasters in Nepal. They also requested Wang to convey their sympathies and condolences to President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang on the loss of lives and properties in recent earthquakes in Jiuzhaigou of Sichuan Province of China.  

Wang Yang and his delegation will leave for China on Thursday morning. 

Published: 17-08-2017 08:08

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