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Chinese President Xi pledges Nepalese Rs 56 billion in aid to Nepal

PTI Kathmandu | Updated on October 13, 2019 Published on October 13, 2019

Nepal's President Bidhya Devi Bhandari with China's President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Reuters   -  Reuters

Xi also pledged to upgrade the Arniko Highway linking Kathmandu with Tatopani transit point

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that China will provide Nepalese Rs 56 billion assistance to Kathmandu over the next two years to help Nepal’s development programmes as the two countries inked 20 agreements on Sunday to bolster their bilateral ties.

Xi, who arrived here on Saturday after a two-day informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held talks with his Nepalese counterpart Bidya Devi Bhandari on Saturday on the first day of his two-day state visit - the first by a Chinese leader in 23 years.

On Sunday, the Chinese president met Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and held delegation-level talks. After the talks, the two sides signed 18 MoUs and two letters of exchange in different sectors such as transport, agriculture, industry, commerce and supply.

“The meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Oli focused on all aspects of Nepal-China relations,” local media quoted officials as saying.

During his meeting with Bhandari, President Xi announced a support of 3.5 billion RMB equivalent to Nepalese Rs 56 billion to Nepal over the next two years to help the development programmes, officials said.

Xi also pledged to upgrade the Arniko Highway linking Kathmandu with Tatopani transit point - which was shut down following the devastating earthquake of 2015 - and open more customs points facilitating connectivity.

He said a feasibility study of trans-Himalayan railway will soon start and China will also support construction of the Kerung-Kathmandu tunnel road.

“We have model friendship in the world, and there is no issue between the two countries,” Xi said during a state banquet hosted by President Bhandari on Saturday in his honour.

President Xi said he and Bhandari agreed to develop relations, friendship and partnership that would help in development and prosperity for Nepal.

More reliable and easier connectivity facility between the two countries would be constructed in the near future, he said.

‘Want to help Nepal become a land-linked country’

“We want to support Nepal in realising its dream to become a land-linked country from the landlocked country,” the Chinese president said.

He said China will provide further support in the post-quake reconstruction, promoting ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’, support education sector and urban development in the country.

On her part, Bhandari reiterated Nepal’s commitment to ‘One-China policy’ and said Nepal will not allow any force to use its territory against China.

Nepal shares a long border with Tibet and is home to around 20,000 Tibetan exiles. Every year some 2,500 Tibetans illegally enter Nepal crossing Tibetan border on their way to Dharamshala to meet the 84-year-old Dalai Lama.

She appreciated China’s support for Nepal’s development efforts and cooperation at international platforms. She also sought China’s assistance in constructing the Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu-Lumbini railway line.

Xi also met with the president of the main Opposition party Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba and they discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties.

He met with Nepal Communist Party co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.

According to Dahal’s office, the two leaders discussed ways to deepen relations between the two countries and the two parties.

Xi left for China in the afternoon, concluding his two-day Nepal visit.

Published on October 13, 2019
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