Towards a stronger partnershipOn the 63rd year of friendship, China renews its commitment to partnership with Nepal
A pair of one-horned rhinos was delivered as gifts to China by cargo flight on July 12, 2018, bearing the profound friendship of the Nepali people with he Chinese people. Very soon, another pair of rhinos will set off to settle in China. Rhino was considered auspicious in China by the ancients. People believed that rhino horn had the magic function of ‘mind reading’. For the Chinese literati, rhino horn literally means the tacit understanding and the meeting of minds between people. The rhinos remind me of the friendship between China and Nepal with mutual understanding as one of its features.
China and Nepal are linked by mountains and rivers. In the 5th century AD, the Chinese monk Fa Xian and the Nepali monk Buddhabhadra set the milestone of significant exchanges between the two countries. The marriage between Srongtsen Gampo and Princess Bhrikuti sowed the seeds of friendship from generation to generation. Master Xuan Zang and Araniko opened a new chapter of friendship between China and Nepal. When China and Nepal established diplomatic ties in 1955, relations between the two countries entered a new stage of development.
In the past 63 years, we have experienced immense transformation of the international community; shared the ups and downs of regional situations and overcome the ravages of natural disasters together. Whenever confronted with difficulties, the governments and peoples of the two countries have always been receptive of each other’s needs. The two countries jointly established the relations of Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation Featuring Ever-Lasting Friendship.
Progress and cooperation
As the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, I witnessed the rapid progress of cooperation and development in various fields between the two countries. I am proud of the remarkable achievements of cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations. With frequent exchanges of high-level visits between governments, parliaments, political parties and armies of the two countries, mutual political trust has been deepened increasingly. In June, Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli made a successful visit to China and had cordial and friendly meetings with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and Chairman of National People’s Congress Li Zhanshu. They reached extensive consensus on consolidating China-Nepal traditional friendship and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, setting the direction for bilateral relations.
China is a development partner of Nepal. The Araniko Highway, the Prithvi Highway, the International Convention Center and the National Armed Police Force Academy are among the symbols of China’s sincere support to Nepal. After the earthquake on April 25, 2015, the Chinese people stood firmly with the Nepali people. The Chinese government extended its support for the reconstruction of infrastructure, recovery of people’s livelihood, repair of cultural and historical heritages, capacity building in disaster prevention and cooperation on medical as well as public health.
China actively supports and participates in economic and social development of Nepal. The cooperation in the fields of power development, infrastructure, communication, optical cable, agricultural technology, education, health, tourism and aviation has been expanding continuously which has helped Nepal to achieve social and economic development.
China has held seven China Festivals and eight China Education Fairs successfully in Nepal. The exchange of literature, publication, music and fine arts between the two countries are frequent and the dialogues between think tanks are more active. The Governance of China (Volume I) written by President Xi Jinping was translated into Nepali language and widely welcomed in Nepal. In 2017, the first exhibition of the treasures from the National Museum of Nepal was successfully held in Anren, Chengdu in China. Last year, about 6,400 Nepali students were studying in China.
Since 1998, China has sent medical teams of 11 continuous groups to Nepal and the doctors have been serving in the BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital funded and constructed by China. Medical teams from Tibet Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province and Guangdong Province of China also visited Nepal and brought warmth and care to the Nepali people.
Air routes from Lhasa, Chengdu, Kunming, Guangzhou, Xi’an and Hong Kong to Kathmandu have been opened with 90 flights a week now. With an increasing number of tourists, China is the second largest tourist source country for Nepal.
The two countries have made remarkable achievements in terms of development. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. After 40 years of hard work, China, with full confidence in its own development, is moving towards a new journey of becoming more open and building a great modern socialist country. After the promulgation of the new constitution, Nepal has completed the elections of governments under the federal system for the first time and established the governments at all three levels. Based on the wishes of the people, Nepal has completed this historic political transformation.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 63 years ago, China and Nepal have always respected each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and accommodated each other’s concerns and core interests. The two allies have sincerely supported each other’s choice of their path towards development. It sets a model of harmonious co-existence between countries of different sizes and social systems. China will continue to follow the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, adopting the policy of forging friendships and partnerships with its neighbors and respecting each other, treating each other as equals and realising win-win cooperation.
China will continue its support for the economic and social development of Nepal and work together with Nepal to build a community with shared future for the two neighbours. To strengthen cooperation, push forward the construction of trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, promote trade and investment facilitation, build the cross-border economic cooperation zone, and deepen cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative in order to lift relations to a new height, creating a brilliant future for the people of the two countries, China intends to continue to work with Nepal.
Today’s world is undergoing unprecedented changes and great adjustments. The multi-polarisation of the world and globalisation of economy are developing further in depth. The informatisation of society and diversification of culture are continuously growing. And the trend of the times featuring peaceful development and win-win cooperation is even stronger.
China is willing to work with all countries to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. China will always work with related countries to push the thorough, solid, steady and enduring progress in Belt and Road development following the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration. In this great era full of opportunities and challenges, China will continue to partner with Nepal in the years ahead.
China and Nepal have enjoyed their friendly relations as neighbours for thousands of years and have become more intimate in the past 63 years. With this message, I congratulate the two countries on the 63rd anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
Yu Hong is the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nepal