Just a day before the visit of Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who was conferred the rank of honorary General of the Nepal Army by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Chinese Defense Minister and State Councilor General Chang Wanquan completed his visit to Nepal.
These two visits of high level defense delegations from Nepal’s two neighbors have significant importance for strategically located Nepal. Visit of Chinese defense minister Chang, an event happening after thirteen years, was closely watched by Indian defense establishment.
Although Chinese defense minister has not made any public comment on any sensitive issue, he demanded adequate security assurance from Nepalese defense and home officials on growing anti-China activities in Nepal.
Like Chinese defense minister Chang, Indian Army chief General Rawat also discussed the maters of mutual security with defense Minister Bal Krishna Khand and Nepal Army chief General Rajendra Chhetri
It has been a tradition between the Indian and Nepali armies to confer the honorary top rank on each other's chiefs to signify their close and special military ties. General Chhetri received a similar honorary rank from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in February last year.
Ahead of the ceremony, Rawat paid a courtesy call on Khand and discussed the various aspects of military ties, according to a Nepal's Defence Ministry statement.
The Indian Army chief, according to the statement, told Khand that the Indian Army wants to assist the Nepal Army in peacekeeping operations, development endeavors and disaster management and its efforts to increase its role in these three areas in all possible ways.
Commending the role of the Nepal Army in global peacekeeping operations, Rawat said India wants to see a prosperous, peaceful and developed Nepal.
Khand, while welcoming the Indian army chief, hoped that such high-level visits between Nepal and India will further strengthen the social, cultural and religious ties.
Indian Army chief also handed over seven horses -- a stallion light breed, two brood mares, two gelds and two donkey stallions -- to his Nepali Counterpart General Chhetri.
Visiting at the invitation of Defense minister Bal Krishna Khand, the Chinese Minister paid courtesy calls on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, separately.
He also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi. The Chinese Minister held talks with Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rajendra Chhetri.
Issues related to strengthening bilateral ties, assistance to Nepal Army for construction activities and training, and transfer of skills in disaster management, among others, were discussed in the meeting during his stay.
As part of managing security along the borders of both Nepal and China, it has been discussed during the meeting that necessary information on border would be exchanged, while China would provide physical and technical assistance for building a training centre for Armed Police Force of Nepal.