Dispute delays transit protocol pact with China

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Jul 12, 2018-

The second consultative meeting for the Protocol to the Transit and Transportation between Nepal and China ended inconclusively in Beijing on Wednesday.

Representatives of both parties failed to reach consensus on the text of the protocol during the two-day talks, diplomatic sources said.

Both parties agreed to hold a third meeting in Kathmandu soon, a statement issued by the Nepali Embassy in Beijing said.

Nepal and China had signed an Agreement on Transit and Transportation in 2016. A protocol is necessary for this before using sea routes for trade with third country.

China is ready to allow Nepal use its seaports, but says no to specific sea routes Nepal wants identified before signing the protocol.

Nepal is keen on three Chinese seaports—Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou—and two land ports to facilitate trade with third country.

Trade with third country is not possible without clarity on sea routes. We have informed China about this issue, said an official.

Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MICS) Chandra Kumar Ghimire led the Nepali delegation, while Ministry of Transport Vice-Minister Liu Xiaoming led the Chinese panel at the meeting in Beijing.

The Nepali delegation comprised officials from MICS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

The Chinese panel included officials from Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Bureau of Shipping, General Administration of Customs, and National Railway Administration.

Prior to the talks, the Nepali delegation visited the Tianjin Port on Monday. The hosts briefed them on the facilities available at the port.

Published: 12-07-2018 07:41

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