Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nepal-China ties gather pace under President Xi

Ritu Raj Subedi,

Image from article, with caption: China opens its first combined transport service to Nepal on May 11, 2016.

Nepal-China relations have witnessed accelerating momentum since President Xi Jinping assumed office in 2012. During his first five-year tenure, the two nations signed landmark deals aimed at boosting mutual cooperation, connectivity, infrastructure development, trade, economy and cultural bond.

President Xi has a diplomatic vision of "comprehensively developing relations with peripheral countries, consolidating good-neighborliness and friendship, and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation."

In his opening remarks at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing last Wednesday, he highlighted China's policies towards neighboring countries, saying relations would be deepened "in accordance with the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness."

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that President Xi unveiled as his flagship global project in 2013 has significantly defined China's foreign relations. Considered to be a project of the century, the BRI so far has brought together around 70 countries to seek shared prosperity.

China envisions Nepal as the gateway to South Asia under the BRI, and nations such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives are already participating. China seeks to integrate its comparatively underdeveloped western pockets in Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan with South Asia through massive investment in roads, railways, commerce, industry and public diplomacy. ...

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