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Xi wants long-term strategic relations with Nepal

pm_oli_and_president_xi_640x360_apBEIJING:  Chinese President Xi Jinping has told Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is on a weeklong visit to China, that the northern neighbor wants to establish a long-term strategic relation with Nepal.

The president said this during a meeting with the Nepali delegation in Beijing after a 10-point agreement was signed between the two sides earlier in the day.

Those present at the talks have taken the term “strategic” used by the Chinese president as a significant departure from the past as the Chinese leaders used to describe its relations with Nepal as a “comprehensive” one. China describes “long-term strategic relations” with any country as one step ahead from “comprehensive relations”, said Nepali Ambassador to China, who was present during the bilateral meeting.
The prime minister held an hour-long meeting with the president and the two sides discussed issues related to railway, road, air routes connectivity, among others.

Maskey said that the two sides will on Tuesday issue a joint statement describing Nepal-China strategic relations in details.

According to him, Xi expressed strong commitment in his support in beginning fuel trade with Nepal.

As Oli read out the invitation letter of President Bidyadevi Bhandari to Xi, the Chinese president “just smiled and said I will visit Nepal in a favorable time.”

Earlier, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had informed Prime Minister Oli about Chinese President Xi’s plan to visit Nepal later this year.

The Chinese premier during the formal bilateral meeting held at the Great Hall of the People on Monday morning informed Prime Minister Oli that Xi would visit Nepal by the end of this year, said an official present during the bilateral talks.

Beijing has been making preparations for Xi’s visit to Nepal and Bangladesh later this year when he visits India in September-October for the eighth annual BRICS Summit-2016.

Chinese Premier Li told the Nepal side that China was ready to extend railway from Kerung to Nepal’s three major destinations – Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbini.

The two prime ministers discussed trade diversification, cross-border connectivity and infrastructure development and extending support in the sectors of energy, tourism, economy, education and cultural development.

Li during the talks had expressed China’s wish to see Nepal as a stable and prosperous country and that China wanted bilateral and regional cooperation in international and regional issues based on mutual interests.

Earlier, Li welcomed Oli with a guard of honor on the premises of the Great Hall of the People in front of the Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

–  REPUBLICA

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