China pledges Rs 136m assistance for local pollsChina has pledged an assistance of nine million yuan (approx Rs 136 million) to Nepal for local level elections set for May 14.
China has pledged an assistance of nine million yuan (approx Rs 136 million) to Nepal for local level elections set for May 14.
The Chinese support was announced on Monday during a meeting between Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Dahal reached Beijing on Saturday after completing his engagements in Boao, Hainan province, including an address on “Globalisation and Free Trade: The Asian Perspectives” at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2017.
The Chinese assistance was announced by Xi after PM Dahal apprised him of political developments in Nepal, including his government’s plan to hold local level elections on May 14.
Dahal and Xi also held discussions on a wide range of bilateral issues.
Talks revolved around the “One Belt One Road” initiative, reopening of the Tatopani border, which has been closed since 2015 earthquake, Chinese investment in Nepal’s infrastructure sector and railway links between Nepal and China.
During the meeting, Dahal is learnt to have conveyed to Xi Nepal’s desire and commitment to be part of OBOR, Beijing’s flagship initiative to build a modern-day Silk Road across Asia for which China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids across Asia, Africa and Europe.
The prime minister told the Chinese president that Nepal is willing to be part of the OBOR initiative before May 14-15 when Beijing has scheduled the OBOR Summit, sources said. Nepal will actively participate in the summit, Dahal is learnt to have told Xi.
According to an update posted on Dahal’s personal website, the prime minister “held an open and candid discussion with the Chinese president on various bilateral issues”.
“The Chinese president talked about political stability in Nepal, development and prosperity with infrastructure development,” the website said. He was positive about railway links and reopening of the Tatopani border.”
“It was an important and fruitful meeting and it meeting has added an important dimension to Nepal-China ties,” the website quoted PM Dahal as saying about his meeting with Xi.
The Dahal-Xi meeting, however, ended without signing any deals.
Earlier it was expected that during the delegation talks between Dahal and Xi, Nepal and China would agree on a common text on Nepal’s participation in OBOR and forge understanding on trade, infrastructure and Transit and Transportation Agreement among others.
A senior Nepali official who took part in the meeting said that meeting touched upon all major aspects of Nepal-China ties and both sides agreed that the two countries could work together on a number of projects.
Stating that the Nepali people are eagerly waiting to see Chinese rails running from Lhasa to Kathmandu and Lumbini, PM Dahal expressed commitment to implement pacts signed by his predecessor KP Sharma Oli during the latter’s visit to Bejing in March last year.
The Chinese president said he would take initiatives to build China-Nepal railway links and development railway networks in Nepal, according to the official.
According to Xinhua, China’s official news agency, Chinese President Xi pointed out that China and Nepal are close neighbours of mountains and rivers and since the establishment of diplomatic relations for more than half a century, no matter how the international situation changes, Sino-Nepali relations have always maintained a healthy and stable development. “China attaches great importance to its relations with Nepal… is willing to work with Nepal, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and to create a community of common destiny,” the report added.
During the meeting, Dahal reiterated Nepal’s commitment to One-China policy.
Dahal also extended an invitation to President Xi to visit Nepal. In response, the Chinese President is learnt to have expressed his commitment to visit Nepal soon.