Nepal proposes July 30-31 for protocol talksChina has yet to respond to Nepal’s proposal to hold another round of talks to conclude Protocol to Transit and Transportation by July-end in Kathmandu.
China has yet to respond to Nepal’s proposal to hold another round of talks to conclude Protocol to Transit and Transportation by July-end in Kathmandu.
After recent talks in Beijing made little headway in reaching an agreement, both sides had agreed to sit in Kathmandu on a conducive date, and accordingly the Nepali side has recently proposed to hold the second round of negotiations on July 30 and 31 in Kathmandu, officials said.
“We have yet to receive confirmation from the Chinese side,” said Joint-secretary at the Ministry of Commerce Rabi Shankar Saiju. Senior officials from Nepal and China held one round of talks in Beijing on July 10 and 11 to conclude the protocol to the agreement signed in 2016 during the first visit of Prime Minister KP Oli. But talks in Beijing could not yield any results and officials agreed to sit again in Kathmandu to sort out the differences.
In the backdrop of Indian blockade in 2016, PM Oli signed the Transit and Transportation Agreement with China to end Nepal’s long-standing dependency on Indian sea ports and using transit facilities for third country trade. “Our meeting with the Chinese side will be the continuation of our talks where we had left off last time in Beijing,” said officials.
The team led by Chandra Ghimire, secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, has been entrusted to conclude talks with the Chinese side and sign the transit protocol. The Ghimire-led team has representatives from various ministries including foreign, law, physical planning and transportation. The team is mandated to resolve disputes with the Chinese side on the texts of the protocol prepared by the two sides.
Nepal and China have separate texts on the protocol-related matters, officials said, and they have been told to agree on a single report. Nepal is looking for two land ports and three sea ports with China for third country trading, according to the officials.
Besides holding talks with the Chinese officials during their recent trip to Beijing, the Nepali team also visited Tianjin port where it took stock of the cargo movements. “There is not much dispute on using Chinese land ports. There are disagreements on using the sea port and their routes,” said an official.
Specification of sea routes is the major bone of contention between the two sides. The Chinese side wants to allow Nepal to use its sea ports without providing any specific sea routes, while the Nepali side has been pressing for specific routes. Nepal has proposed to use Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou seas ports.