Nepal’s new govt wants to strengthen ties with China, says deputy PM

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/17 23:13:40

Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara on Monday said that Nepal wants to further strengthen the bilateral relationship with China in the changed political scenario in Nepal.

The deputy prime minister in charge of finance, who is leaving for Beijing on a two-day visit on Monday afternoon as a Special Envoy of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, said that the government will make all efforts to give new impetus to bilateral cooperation with China.

The visit came shortly after the formation of the new government in Nepal on August 3.

"As a close and immediate neighbor, we seek China's support and goodwill in our political stability to achieve development goals. We have been enjoying an age-old friendly relationship with China and want to take it to a new level," the deputy prime minister said during an interview with Xinhua News Agency on Monday in Kathmandu.

Talking about his visit to China, the minister said that he will brief the Chinese side regarding the latest political situation of the country following the advent of the new government on August 3.

"In addition to that, I will share ongoing efforts made by the government toward effective implementation of the new Constitution," he said.

The minister expressed commitment toward effective implementation of bilateral deals on transit, connectivity, trade, commerce reached between the two governments during then prime minister K.P Sharma Oli's visit to Beijing this March.

"This government will sincerely implement the bilateral deals on transit, connectivity, trade, commerce reached between the two governments during the erstwhile government. We want to take the bilateral relationship to a new high by implementing those deals," he added.

Nepal and China signed 10 accords including the Transit Transport Agreement during Oli's trip to Beijing in March.

The minister said that Nepal wants to enhance connectivity with China through China's Belt and Road Initiative, recalling that Nepal had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China to become a part of the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative in 2014.

"We are aware of the fact that China wants to strengthen its cooperation with neighboring and other countries through the Belt and Road Initiative. As a close neighbor Nepal wants to benefit from such new initiatives," he said.

As a founding member of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), Nepal wants more foreign investment on its development efforts in the days to come, he said. Nepal formally became a founding member of the China-initiated AIIB in January.

The minister also said that Nepal is keen to see a high-level visit from China in the near future.

"I will hand over the invitation to the Chinese president during my visit," he said, adding that such high-level visits will further strengthen the friendly ties between the two close neighbors.

The minister, who belongs to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) party, was of the view that the government wants to have cordial and "balanced relationship" with China and India.

"We want to have a cordial and balanced relationship with both of our neighboring countries China and India as per the changed context. We expect goodwill and support from our neighbors in our socio-economic development, prosperity and political stability," he said.

Mahara said that the government is in favor of inviting more foreign investment in Nepal's large infrastructure projects.

The Nepalese minister is visiting China nearly a week after the government decided to send special envoys to China and India in order to strengthen ties with neighboring countries.

Bimalendra Nidhi, another deputy prime minister who oversees home affairs in the Dahal-led government, will be travelling to India later this week as Special Envoy of the prime minister.

"Nidhiji will also seek goodwill and support from the Indian leadership for Nepal's prosperity, economic development and political stability," Mahara said.

Meanwhile, the minister said that Nepal wants support, goodwill and solidarity from both China and India in the implementation of the new constitution promulgated in September last year.

The article is a commentary from the Xinhua News Agency.

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