Nepal eager to welcome Chinese president: Pun

- SANJEEV GIRI, KUNMING

Jun 13, 2016-

Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, who is on a weeklong official visit to China, on Sunday said Nepal and Nepalis are eager to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping to Kathmandu.

Addressing the inaugural session of China-South Asia Exposition and the China Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair here on Sunday, Pun said the recent visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to China has strengthened Nepal-China relationship. Agreements signed by the two neighbours during the visit are in the process of implementation in Nepal, Pun added.

No Chinese president has visited Nepal since 1996 despite several visits by Nepal’s heads of government and state in the period.

Quoting sources from Nepal’s Foreign Ministry, Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post reported that Xi’s visit is likely to be scheduled in October. Sources in Beijing told the Post that the Chinese side has notified Nepal that a high-profile visit from China is likely in 2016.

Xi is reportedly preparing to visit Nepal while attending the BRICS Summit in India in October. Admiral Sun Jianguo of the People’s Liberation Army, who visited Nepal last week, also hinted at the Chinese president’s visit. He invited Defence Minister Bhim Bahadur Rawal to China, which is seen as part of preparations for the visit.

During his speech, Vice President Pun recalled that Nepal has welcomed the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, become a founding member of the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, and joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation recently as its dialogue partner. 

“Nepal wants to strengthen its relations with China and I am sure China too wants the same,” he said.

Stating that Nepal has completed the transition by promulgating the new constitution, Pun invited investments in the areas of infrastructure, energy, tourism and agriculture.

 

Published: 13-06-2016 08:39

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