Monday, 30 November, 2020
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EDITORIAL

Enhance Nepal-China Economic Cooperation



Relations between Nepal and China have been getting consolidated at diplomatic as well as people-to-people levels. Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Nepal during the second week of October last year has added a new impetus to the age-old friendly ties between the two close neighbours. Nepal-China relations are based on mutual respect and cooperation. This year, the two nations are celebrating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations. As an important and reliable development partner of Nepal, China has supported the former in numerous areas ranging from infrastructure development, post-earthquake reconstruction to trade promotion. Over the years, Nepal has received a lot of Chinese investments in various sectors. Until the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the northern neighour was a major tourist source market for Nepal as the two nations have better air connectivity. Nepal has also remained committed to One-China policy and the nation does not allow Nepali soil to be used against the northern neighbour.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has said that Nepal-China cooperation on construction of trans-border railway, roadway and tunnel would bring the two nations together for socio-economic development of Nepal. In a message extended to the first meeting of the joint mechanism of political parties between Nepal and China in connection with Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, she said the mechanism set up to continue regular dialogue among the political parties from two countries would further enhance the bilateral ties. Her message was read out by Chairman of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina in a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

To bring about a desirable economic transformation in the country, the Government of Nepal has initiated the national campaign of Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali. It requires careful planning, a huge investment in infrastructure and technological development and strong political willpower to realise the much-hyped goal. The two nations have prioritised the trade facilitation and cross-border movement of people by opening extra border points. She further said that the government was committed to enhancing cooperation with China under the trans-Himalayan network, which is a part of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The President has extended best wishes to her Chinese counterpart, the Communist Party of China and Chinese people on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

Similarly, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli reiterated that Nepal had attached great importance to the BRI cooperation and Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, and accorded high priority to the advancement of healthy development. In his message given to the same meeting, the Prime Minister said Nepal and China were working on finalising the implementation of BRI and for building Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network. The two nations inked the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation under BRI in 2017 with a view to strengthening cooperation in connectivity sectors, including transit transport, logistic systems, transport network security and related infrastructure development such as railway, road, civil aviation, power grid, information and communication. The two nations want to upgrade bilateral relations to a friendly and cooperative strategic partnership for development and prosperity. Prime Minister Oli expressed his hope that the platform would help further advance and promote BRI cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries. 

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