Nepalese believe Chinese President’s visit to add new dimension to Nepal-China ties
Sharachchandra Bhandary, KATHMANDU: Nepali people believe that the state visit of President of neighbouring country China, which has earned its name as the world’s second largest economic power, to Nepal on October 12 and 13, will add a new dimension to the Nepal-China relations.
The two-day visit of President Xi Jinping has not only proven that China has attached high importance to its ties with Nepal that has established its identity as a peace-loving, self-confident, independent and fully sovereign nation in the world but has also highlighted that Nepal is in priority in its foreign policy.
The impending visit by the Head-of-the-State of the northern neighbour after a gap of 23 years is expected to be utilized for promoting the Nepal-China economic partnership. Declaration of Chinese assistance for the construction of Kerung-Kathmandu railway/transmission line is also expected to be made during President Xi’s this visit.
The government has expressed its intention that the concrete feasibility study and preparation of the detailed project report (DPR) of the railway as well as the investment should also be done by the Chinese side. However, it has not been made public so far and the investment modality for the DPR also remains to be finalized.
In the present context of Nepal’s efforts for trade diversification not being materialized due to the lack of adequate trade infrastructures, it is believed that the topics of fulfilling the goal of constructing a dry port at the Korala transit and building the Pokhara-Korala two-way road would be concluded during President Xi’s visit.
A senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated to RSS the possibility of the announcement of a permanent mechanism between the two countries for the promotion of trade and investment.
An agreement is also expected to be reached to make further efforts for bringing to Nepal the growing Chinese international trade and foreign investment, mobilizing grant assistance for the construction of the dry port and the work operation model for the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on Nepal-China Energy Collaboration.
The strengthening of Nepal-China energy mechanism and an assessment of the effectiveness of the bilateral mechanisms formed at the Energy Secretary and Technical levels will also be done in course of the visit. It is also said that understanding would be reached for the construction of Nuwakot-Ratmate-Kerung electricity transmission line and for ensuring Chinese investment in hydropower production.
The Chinese high officials would be urged to encourage the Chinese investors in the productive sectors of Nepal in the light of the need of huge foreign investment and domestic capital to fulfill the goal of the present government to transform Nepal into a developing country from the list of least developed countries in the next three years.
Nepal does not only have close neighbourly relations with a big nation like China but also has equally ancient and progressive historical, religious, cultural and economic ties with its northern neighbour. This visit being undertaken at the Head-of-State level of China with the objective of further developing the bilateral relations that is strong as the Himalaya for mutual benefit is seen with keen interest not only by Nepalis but the international community as well.
It is a matter of pride and dignity for Nepal and Nepalis to welcome the dignitary from a neighbouring country in the context of Nepal having laid a strong foundation of a federal, inclusive, democratic republic with the conclusion of the election of the three levels and of the Constitution of Nepal also going into implementation.
It is expected that the Chinese President’s this visit will support in a big way in transforming Nepal into a prosperous nation. It is also not unexpected of a neighbour that is recently moving ahead on the path to economic prosperity after attaining sustainable peace and political stability to expect support from China in its development endeavours.
The Nepal-China historic ties connected by our national treasures Bhrikuti and Araniko centuries before the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on August 1, 1955 have been further strengthened, enriched and become deeper in the present era.
President Xi, who has taken the leadership of Communist Party of China as the party General Secretary since the party’s 18th General Convention held some seven years back, had invited President Bidya Devi Bhandari for the state visit to China during his earlier days as the President of China for the second term, according top priority to the relations with Nepal and this had played a significant role in further consolidating the bilateral friendship and understanding which the Nepali people have not forgotten yet.
Chinese leaders Sun Yat-sen and Mao Tse-tung who had their special contributions to the expansion of Nepal-China ties many years ago before President Xi, and the Xi’s visit reflects his intention to assist in Nepal’s journey towards prosperity and progress by making the bilateral relations in tune with time giving continuity the legacy of such contribution.
Nepal-China friendship is trouble-free and incomparable.
In a period of around six and half decades of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, a protocol of transit transport treaty has been signed for the first time in the history of two countries.
The protocol, signed during the state visit by President Bhandari, has established Nepal’s access to sea via Chinese territory. Besides, it has not only ensured Nepal’s access to sea for trade activities with third countries via Chinese territory but also diversified Nepal’s transit facilities. It has ended our dependency on a single country, opening our way to world market. However, there remains an additional challenge to increase domestic production to export Nepali products to China and other countries.
It has been expected that the agreement reached between the two neighbours to take a greater framework of Trans-Himalaya Multidimensional Connectivity Network ahead in a substantive and planned way would enter the implementation phase soon.
Some mega projects relating to infrastructure development are expected to be announced during the visit.
The importance of BRI has been established as an important tool of achieving economic development through the means of connectivity and infrastructure development.
The Chinese President’s visit is expected to give an impetus for the effective implementation of all bilateral agreements and understandings in the context when China had already announced to assist Nepal in infrastructure development including the trans-border railway service under the greater framework of Nepal-China Trans Himalaya Multidimensional Relations Network.
The Nepali people are confident the Beijing’s positive attitude and initiation towards the promotion of Nepal’s education and export trade and opening of transit points on the basis of Nepal’s national priorities, the commitments for Chinese assistance made from the Presidential-level to meet the national resolution for ‘prosperous Nepal, happy Nepali’ and towards making the Nepal Visit Year 2020 successful would translate into action with the President’s visit.
The BRI has been established as an important forum for collaboration, assistance and connectivity, and we are confident that it would promote and integrate economies, connect market and investment in infrastructure, playing an important role in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in the context when there is a great lack of resources globally.
Nepal’s partnership with China in regard with several issues including trans-border railway, roads, ports, air transport and information technology, the ‘Trans Himalyan Multidimensional Connectivity Network’ will further grow with President Xi’s visit.
It may be noted that the scope of trade and transit had become wider with the agreements relating to the construction of Kerung-Kathmandu Railway and establishment of Koshi, Kaligandaki and Karnali Economic Corridor and the 2016 Transit Transport Agreement reached between the two countries during Prime Minister Oli’s official visit to China during his first term.
The President’s visit will pave the way for the hassle-free use of China’s four dry ports by Nepal as per the agreement.The Prime Minister’s official visit to China in June 2018 had added a new brick in the protection and promotion of bilateral interest.
“We have given importance to the development of Sino-Nepal relations. I am ready to collaborate with you to advance China-Nepal comprehensive cooperative partnership with everlasting friendship for the interest of people of both countries,” reads a message the Chinese President sent to his Nepali counterpart on the occasion of the Constitution Day. The message expresses China’s intention of taking the Nepal-China relations to a new height. RSS
Published Date: Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 | 08:06 AM