Known for their mandarin skills, Chinese leaders used Nepalese prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s visit to assure their commitment to link Nepal by Chinese railway.
Prime Minister Dahal, who tried to avoid all kinds of political risks from south, visited China to wash his image in Nepal as a pro-Indian. However, Chinese leaders treated Dahal as usual, as they did for all prime ministers.
In a meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping informed Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal that the Chinese government is ready to initiate construction work on the cross-border railway link between the two neighbors and boost trade and connectivity.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Dahal and his delegation at the Great Hall of the People, President Xi said that the Chinese side is ready to initiate work on extending its railway link to Nepal and support its infrastructure development.
Prime Minister Dahal, who was on a seven-day visit to China, held a meeting with President Xi for over 35 minutes during which they discussed various bilateral issues and other matters of mutual interest.
The Chinese president discussed with interest Nepal's political stability and infrastructure development including rail connectivity, and also the issue of reopening Tatopani, the main trade route between China and Nepal, which was damaged by earthquake in 2015.
“Our countries have maintained close coordination in various levels including politics and military. We strongly pursue connectivity, post-disaster reconstruction as well as advancing infrastructures and people to people exchanges. I am glad to see this progress. We should work together to create a new momentum of friendly cooperation,” reported state-owned China Global Television Network (CGTN) quoting President Xi.
CGTN quoted Xi as saying that “both countries should also deepen cooperation in tourism, culture and media”, as well as energy, trade and connectivity.
Although Prime Minister Dahal avoided signing the One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative, he has reportedly assured the Chinese leadership that Nepal is ready to sign a memorandum on the OBOR soon.
Dahal likewise discussed with Xi all the understandings and agreements reached between the two countries in the recent past and thanked China for its support in post-earthquake reconstruction. China is a major supporter of the ongoing post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal.
Nepal and China had signed 10 separate agreements and memoranda including the historic trade, transit and free trade agreements in March last year. But the agreements have not been implemented even after a year as the Nepal government has not been able to reach formal agreements with China.
Chinese President Xi also said that the change in government in Nepal doesn't hamper bilateral relations
Prime Minister Dahal said the meeting between him and President Xi will be “another important milestone” in Nepal-China bilateral relations as the Chinese president has responded positively on the issues and concerns raised by the Nepali side during their meeting.