Towards an even brighter futureChina-Nepal relations have achieved significant progress since the establishment of diplomatic ties.
In late June, Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the 14th BRICS Summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and a high-level dialogue on global development and delivered important speeches via video, and delivered the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum. Many important propositions and initiatives on the issue of peace and development have been proposed.
First, to defend fairness and justice and safeguard world peace and stability. We in the international community should reject zero-sum games, practice genuine multilateralism, and build a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. Second, to focus on the development theme and set the orientation for global development cooperation.
A push to jointly create a development pattern featuring benefits shared by all, balance, coordination, inclusiveness, win-win cooperation and shared prosperity, and put forward a four-point development proposal. Third, promote win-win cooperation and provide solutions for improving the global governance system.
We must adhere to extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, increase the representation and say of emerging markets and developing countries, and ensure that all countries enjoy equal rights, follow the rules as equals, and share equal opportunities. And finally, to continue reform and opening up and inject Chinese impetus into the recovery of the world economy. China will strive to deliver the economic and social development goals for the whole year and will pursue opening up against higher standards and develop systems for a higher-standard open economy.
The world has entered a new period of instability and change, the recovery of the global economy remains sluggish, and security challenges are becoming more prominent. Against this background, the series of initiatives and propositions put forward by President Xi, with his historical responsibility as the leader of a major country and aspiration for the world, has grasped the general trend of the world and is of great historical significance in leading the development direction of the BRICS cooperation mechanism. The BRICS cooperation mechanism has always taken the development theme as its starting point. President Xi’s speeches elaborate on China’s strategic thinking on the BRICS cooperation mechanism and lay out the direction of BRICS future cooperation on multilateralism, international justice, and anti-pandemic collaboration, among others.
There is also the need to hold high the banner of global development. Development issues have been placed on top of the international agenda to promote in-depth and pragmatic implementation of the Global Development Initiative and set the direction for implementing the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promoting the building of a global community of development.
China’s various initiatives unequivocally stand for multilateralism while opposing hegemony and supporting opening-up and cooperation against secession. They reflect the interests and demands of emerging markets and developing countries and represent the broadest opinion of the international community. To provide solutions of China, President Xi’s speeches, combined with the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiatives, contribute Chinese wisdom in improving global governance, promoting economic recovery, cooperating to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, enhancing people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and thus answering the fundamental question of “where is the world going”.
China and Nepal have been friendly neighbours for generations. Both are developing countries facing the historic task of promoting economic and social development and improving people’s living standards. The Nepali side actively supports and responds to the Global Development and Security Initiative. China and Nepal share the same or similar views and propositions in adhering to the priority of development, the harmonious coexistence of man and nature, and the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.
With the care and promotion of the two countries’ leaders, China-Nepal relations have achieved significant progress since the establishment of diplomatic ties. High-level interactions are frequent, and political mutual trust has been increasingly consolidated. The two countries understand and support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.
We have joined hands to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and China has become Nepal’s biggest supplier of anti-pandemic materials and vaccines. The total trade volume between China and Nepal increased 67 percent and reached $1.977 billion in 2021, of which Nepal’s export to China rose 63 percent. Large-scale projects including the China-Nepal Cross-Border Railway, Pokhara Regional International Airport and Kathmandu Ring Road are under steady progress. These have further enriched the connotation of the Strategic Partnership of Cooperation, Featuring Ever-lasting Friendship for Development and Prosperity between our two countries and bringing tangible benefits to our two peoples.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, exchanges and interactions between the two countries have been adversely affected in recent years. Nevertheless, the two sides have made ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation in various fields and boost economic recovery. State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi successfully visited Nepal in March. The two sides reached many consensuses on moving ahead on bilateral relations. They also signed nine cooperation documents, including development assistant infrastructure connectivity, energy, medical and health cooperation and other fields. Recently, the relevant authorities of the two countries have actively implemented the consensuses and agreements mentioned above. The two sides have successfully opened and resumed direct flights between Kathmandu and Kunming and between Kathmandu and Chengdu.
China has further optimised the visa policy for foreigners to China, and personnel exchanges between us have become increasingly smooth. The Chinese side has promptly reviewed and approved the application of the first batch of Nepali students to return to universities in China. Some students have already arrived in China to continue their studies. The two sides held the 14th meeting of the China-Nepal Diplomatic Consultation Mechanism and a video conference on Border Law Enforcement Cooperation. China has also increased the volume of one-way freight transport at the China-Nepal border ports, and is working on a two-way transport plan. The exchanges and cooperation between us in various fields have shown sound momentum of recovery and development.
New historical starting point
In the second half of this year, China will hold the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and Nepal will hold provincial and federal elections. In the first half of next year, China will hold the 14th National People’s Congress, and Nepal will form a new government. China-Nepal relations have reached a new historical starting point. As President Xi put it, we must “respond to people’s concerns, pursue the larger interests of all countries” and “firm up confidence, and act in unison”.
Guided by the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, we shall further strengthen policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and closer people-to-people ties and promote practical cooperation in various fields such as infrastructure connectivity, development and poverty alleviation, resources and energy, and environmental protection, and work together to build a China-Nepal community with a shared future. I am confident that under the guidance of the two countries’ leaders, we will undoubtedly overcome the difficulties posed by the pandemic, and jointly promote bilateral relations and practical cooperation in various fields for greater gains and an even brighter future.