Nepali leaders set high hopes on PM’s China visit with BRI on focus
KATHMANDU:Nepali leaders from different political parties have set high hopes on enhancing Sino-Nepal ties during the upcoming China visit of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Addressing an interaction entitled “Friendship Across the Himalayas: Current Situation and Vision of Nepal-China Cooperation” organized by Nepal-China Social Relation Academy in Kathmandu on Wednesday, the leaders advised the Prime Minister to further deepen the ties and sign important projects for the mutual benefits.
Addressing the function, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha expressed hope that the PM’s visit will play a significant role in maintaining the smooth relations between the two countries, which he claimed as “trouble-free.”
Highlighting that the visit would further boost the increasing development partnership, Deputy PM said that the Nepali side is in discussion about the Belt and Road (BRI) implementation plan, and expressed hope that it will move towards positive direction.
“For now, discussion is going on to create understanding on content for implementation agreement. Hope the visit will yield positive outcomes,” Shrestha remarked, adding that Nepal’s development and prosperity lies in utilizing the available resources and using the foreign assistance.
Nepali Prime Minister is leaving for Hangzhou, China on September 23 from New York, after attending the United Nations General Assembly. This will be Dahal’s first visit to China since being elected as the current Prime Minister.
Similarly, Deputy Speaker for House of Representatives Indira Rana Magar remarked that China has always worked in favor of Nepal’s prosperity and expressed hope that it would continue to do so.
Recalling her latest China visit, she underscored the need of enhancing trade between the two countries, particularly through exporting products like tea and coffee and various medicinal herbs from Nepal to China to boost economy.
Other speakers advised the Prime Minster to further gain the trust and confidence of China.
Dr Rajan Bhattarai, Head of Foreign Affairs Department of CPN UML suggested, “PM’s China visit and meeting with the top Chinese leadership should be able to build a relation of trust and should create a positive environment which will be in favor of Nepal and Nepali public. “
In terms of BRI’s implementation, Dr Bhattarai said that connectivity projects should be prioritized without politicizing. “Connectivity is today’s necessity, so this should be Nepal’s priority. Chinese rails have reached to hundreds of European cities, but we as a close neighbor, have not been able to create such link for our better future,” he remarked.
Stating that there is a false narrative created about BRI projects, he said, “The current government should be serious about it. The foreign policy is guided by the government, by the state, so it should not give the neighbor any chance to have doubts.”
Echoing Dr Bhattarai’s statement, Former Minister Thakur Sharma suggested that the PM should gain confidence and trust of the Chinese side in this visit, which will be the major achievement.
On the occasion, Laxman Panta, Maoist Center’s Central Committee Member highlighted that at a time when the major world power shift is happening in recent years, with the rise of China, developing countries like Nepal should gain maximum benefits out of this opportunity.
Likewise, Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) Standing Committee Member Anil Sharma shared that China’s progress has brought qualitative development in South Asia, including Nepal.
“China’s massive production has brought many benefits to the general public,” he said, adding that the Nepal government should take forward the BRI projects in the upcoming PM’s visit.
Chairman of Nepal-China Social Relation Academy Professor Dr Balmukunda Regmi expressed his belief that the cooperation between Nepal and China will reach a new level, and the areas of cooperation between will be wider after the visit.
Stating that how to transform Nepal from a "land locked country" to a "land linked country" is a major challenge, increasing the number of airports and the construction of cross-border railways would help in achieving prosperity and improving the quality of life for Nepalese people.
“Some foreign projects in Nepal have sparked heated discussions, such as Pokhara International Airport. It is very good to pay attention to the construction of major domestic projects. If there are related problems with these projects, it is very good to point them out and then instruct the relevant parties to correct them. This is conducive to common progress, which is called "constructive opinions," he commented.
“The vast South Asian subcontinent cannot stop our determination to reach the sea, nor can the towering the Himalayas hinder our efforts to connect with the world,” Regmi added.
The interaction was attended by the party leaders and cadres from different parties, intellectuals, representatives of business community, media and students among others.