By Pushpa Raj Pradhan lately in Kunming
Zhao Jin, member of the Party Standing Committee and Head of the Publicity Department of the Yunan province Committee, CPC, said that Nepal can benefit enormously from Yunnan.
Talking to a group of Nepali journalists visiting China, Zhao said that Yunnan has given high priority to its relations with Nepal. In the last five years, high-level exchange visits have taken place to Nepal and to Yunnan as well, he informed.
There is harmonious relation between the Nepali people and people from Yunnan, he said and recalled that during the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Yunnan had supported 5 million RMB for the victims of the earthquake.
Appreciating Nepal joining the Belt and Road initiative (BRI), Zhao said that it has opened doors for cooperation in multiple fields.
Yunnan wants to assist Nepal, especially in areas such as agriculture, tourism, energy, education and trade sectors, he said. Furthermore, Yunnan wants to strengthen relations and cooperation between the media in Yunnan and Nepal, he informed about Yunnan Provencial government’s plan.
He recalled that since 2009 direct air service has started between Kathmandu and Kunming, which has played a significant role in promotion of tourism in Nepal.
Last years, Yunnan’s trade with Nepal increased by 35.4 percent compared to the trade volume of the previous year, said Zhao. In some hydropower and road projects in Nepal, people from Yunnan are involved and Yunnan wants to invest in more infrastructural projects, he said.
Quoting President Xi Jinping’s address to the OBOR’s Beijing meet, Zhao said that BRI’s is for peace and cooperation. He also added that Yunnan plays an important role in BRI as the Province is the junction for South East Asia and East Asia.
As China and Nepal enjoy century-old relations, Yunnan has played an important role in strengthening the bilateral relations, he said.
To give new height to the bilateral relations, Yunnan Province plans to expand the areas of cooperation, he said and added that in the near future, Yunnan wishes to intensify bilateral relations between the media and education sectors in Nepal and Yunnan. Yunnan is keen to organize training courses for journalists and educational sectors between Yunnan province and Nepal, he said. Yunan also wants to support Nepal in the field of culture and arts, he informed.
Informing about the Yunnan Province, Zhao said that the population of the Province is 470 million whereas 33 percent people belongs to minority class. In the entire China, there are 55 ethnic groups, out of them, 25 Chinese minorities are settled in Yunnan alone, he said. In four cities of the Yunnan Province, Tibetan minorities have settled down. Special programmes have been introduced for upliftment of the minority class.
Therefore, President Xi has explained Yunnan as a model Province for unity among diverse communities, tourism hub and as a door for East Asia.
Yunnan has made tremendous achievements in sectors such as medicine, health, tourism, modern agriculture, science and technology, among others. In 2016, Yunnan’s GDP was 148 billion, which is an increment of 8.6 percent compared to the year 2015. In the last six months of the current fiscal year, the Province has recorded 9.5 percent GDP.
Yunnan is the Province rapidly developing its economy and standard of the people, he said. Besides, the Province has focused on development of villages by providing facilities such as basic education, health, transportation, electricity and drinking water. The Province has invested 363 billion RMB for development of the rural areas, the Governor explained to the Nepali media team.