Chinese Foreign Minister Wang calls Nepalese President Bhandari, discusses bilateral ties

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday called the Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari and discussed various issues relating to bilateral relations.

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Wang, who holds the rank of State Councilor – a high-ranking post in the executive branch of the Chinese government, also held separate meetings with two former prime ministers – CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and President of the CPN (Maoist Center) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, reported the newspaper My Republica.

During his talks with President Bhandari, “various issues relating to Nepal-China relations were discussed on this occasion,” the newspaper said.

During the meeting, various aspects of bilateral relations and cooperation were discussed, officials from the president’s office were quoted by The Kathmandu Post newspaper as saying.

“It was a courtesy meeting. Foreign Minister Wang Yi briefed the president on the agreements signed between Nepal and China,” said Tika Dhakal, the president’s communications expert.

Bhandari told Wang that Kathmandu attaches great importance to Nepal-China relations and thanked the Chinese government for supporting Nepal, he said.

“Through the Chinese Foreign Minister, President Bhandari sent a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping that our country and the people of Nepal are grateful for China’s continued support,” Dhakal added.

During the meeting with Wang, CPN-UML leader Oli urged the Chinese government to speed up the implementation of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects such as the iron, irrigation, education and health.

The Chinese minister responded positively to the party’s call and said he is ready to cooperate with Nepal for its development and prosperity, assuring its contribution to undertake BRI-related projects and regularize them.

During his meeting with Wang, Prachanda also urged China to quickly implement physical infrastructure-related projects previously agreed under the BRI. His party, which is part of the coalition partner, said advancing those projects considered important for Nepal’s economic and social development in a timely manner would have a positive impact. Maoist leader Shakti Basnet has drawn the Chinese Foreign Minister’s attention to creating an enabling environment for the smooth operation of the Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi checkpoints, which have long ceased to function due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.

According to him, various dimensions of Nepal-China relations were also discussed on this occasion.

Prachanda reiterated Nepal’s commitment not to allow any anti-China activity on Nepalese soil.

“Nepal always adheres to the one-China policy and we will not allow Nepalese territory to be used against any country,” he said.

Later, Wang left for China after concluding his three-day official visit which began on March 25.

On Saturday, Wang held talks with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and his Nepalese counterpart, Dr. Narayan Khadka, and discussed bilateral relations and mutual cooperation.

The two countries have signed nine agreements, including one on the technical assistance program for the feasibility study of the cross-border railway with the help of China.

It was the first visit by a senior Chinese official to Nepal since Nepali Congress President Deuba became prime minister in July last year for a record fifth time.

The visit of China’s top diplomat is being viewed with great interest as it comes shortly after parliament ratified the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) $500 million compact deal – a grant deal funded by the United States. Sources said China does not want Nepal to ratify the MCC compact agreement.

Under the MCC program, the U.S. government will provide grant assistance that will primarily be used to strengthen Nepal’s transmission line and also improve the country’s road networks.

Left-wing political parties in Nepal opposed the pact, saying it was not in the national interest and was meant to counter China.

In December, Prime Minister Deuba stressed the need to ratify U.S. financial assistance under the MCC by forging consensus among all political parties, saying the program is not contrary to the national interest. .

Earlier on Saturday, Deuba attended the virtual completion ceremony of Pokhara Regional International Airport, Nepal’s second international airport. The airport was built with financial assistance from China (subsidized loan), according to officials.

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