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Nepal for early execution of transit pact with China: PM

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 30, 2018-

Vice Minister of International Department of the Communist Party of China Wang Yajun held talks with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday, discussing a wide range of issues including follow-up to Oli’s recent visit to Beijing.

Wang is accompanied by Wu Jianghao, director general of Asian Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to officials, both Wang and Wu held separate talks with senior Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders and discussed the political scenario and strengthening of bilateral ties between Nepal and China.

During the meeting with Wang, PM Oli is learnt to have said that Nepal wants early completion of the Protocol to Transit and Transportation signed during his first visit to China in 2016 in order for Nepal to use Chinese ports for third-country trade.

One round of negotiation took place in Beijing on the transit protocol after PM Oli’s second visit to China last month but there was no agreement.

After failing to find a pact on protocol, Nepal had proposed a meeting in Kathmandu in July-end but the Chinese side did not confirm their participation. Now both sides are exploring dates after mid-August for a Kathmandu meeting.

It was a courtesy call, said PM’s Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal. They took stock of the progress made on pacts and understandings signed by PM Oli in China.

“We want early completion of the transit protocol to ensure our reach to the [Chinese] sea port,” the PM was quoted as saying. “As a landlocked country, it is our desire to diversify our reach to seas ports.”

Expressing his desire for early execution of the transit and transportation agreement with China, the PM reiterated Nepal’s firm commitment to one-China policy. “It’s our longstanding position and we’ll not deviate from it at any cost,” the PM is learnt to have said.

On the proposed visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal, Oli reiterated his government’s readiness to welcome him. “To restrengthen our relations, there should be high-level visits from both sides. While we are expecting the Chinese president to visit Nepal, we are also eager to welcome the Chinese premier,” the PM said.

This is the right time to expand relations with Nepal while the country has a stable government, Wang told PM Oli. “China is also committed to advancing its relations with Nepal and is ready to execute pacts reached during the visit of PM Oli to China last month.”

Published: 30-07-2018 07:49

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