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Oli’s China visit not much encouraging

By Our Reporter
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli returned home on Sunday wrapping his six-day official visit to China. Although the Prime Minister met President Xi Jinping and held one-on-one talk, prime Minister Li Keqiang and other top Chinese leaders and signed a number of agreements with focus on railway connectivity, the visit was not encouraging as expected by the people.
He even invited Xi Jinping to visit Nepal, which he accepted. Still his visit failed to become encouraging as he failed to sign agreement to bring 30 per cent of petroleum products from China as he had intended during his 2016 China visit.
However, Prime Minister Oli and other leaders of the CPN have termed the visit successful.
Prime Minister Oli told reporters at the Tribhuvan University that his visit to China was successful in creating a long-term economic cooperation framework and expanding the collaboration base.
“The bilateral discussions between the two governments and private sector investors, and signing of multiple Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on railway, energy, transportation, infrastructure, investment and tourism will have long-term positive impacts on Nepal’s development and bilateral relations with China,”  PM Oli said.
Among all the cooperation and investment agreements, the MoU on railway connectivity is of prime importance as it has opened avenues to enhance trans-border connectivity, concluded the PM.
According to him, interaction and discussions with the academia and business community of both the countries have contributed to strengthening people to people relations between the two countries.
“I believe that my trip to China has more achievements than our expectations,” he said.
During his visit, Nepal and China exchanged 13 agreements and MoUs, including energy cooperation, bridge construction, using Tibetan Highway, support in investment and production capacity, human resource, school and heritage reconstruction, river control and economic cooperation.
Likewise, the Prime Minister witnessed the signing of nine agreements between Nepal and China’s public as well as private businesses.
According to him, in order to expedite the agreement on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on railway, road, air and communication connectivity under the framework of Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network.
China has agreed to conduct the pre-feasibility study for the development of Keyrung-Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu railway with Chinese grant and project.
“It will also create a base for the Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini Railway,” he said.
China has agreed to conduct additional study for the development of the Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali economic corridor.
Similarly, airlines of both the countries can conduct direct flight operation between Nepal and China.
Likewise, Nepal Electricity Authority and Chinese State Grid Corporation signed on an agreement to conduct feasibility study of Keyrung-Rasuwagadhi-Galchhi-Ratmate 400 KV transmission line.
China also agreed to operate Tatopani-Khasa border point from May 2019, upgrade Syaphrubeshi road and construct bridge at Hilsa.
China has also agreed to provide support to explore oil and natural gas in Nepal, construct petroleum storage facility.
Signed agreements and MoUs:
1. Agreement on energy cooperation
2. Agreement on reconstruction of Miteri and Rasuwa bridges
3. Protocol to use Tibetan Highway for goods transportation
4. Agreement on economic and technical support
5. MoU on investment and productivity support
6. MoU on facilitating programmes under Nepal-China Cooperation
7. MoU on enhancing cooperation between the foreign ministries of the two countries
8. MoU on human resource cooperation
9. MoU on river control project in Jhapa
10. Exchange of letters for the reconstruction of Nuwakot Palace
11. Exchange of letters for the reconstruction of schools in Rasuwa, Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk.
The Prime Minister also apprised the House of the achievements of his China visit on Tuesday. Prime Minister Oli said that his China visit focused on various issues. including taking Nepal-China relation to a new height and implementing past agreements.
He said the visit played significant contribution to the journey of political stability and economic prosperity of the country, informing that he held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, Chiefs of National People’s Congress of China and government of Tibet during his China visit.
He further said that agreement regarding railway construction was the milestone. The PM said that construction of Keyrong -Kathmandu railway would be carried out with Chinese grants.
He said that the pact signed between Nepal and China included expansion of land and air connectivity between the two countries, north-south connectivity and construction of Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali economic corridors.
Furthermore, he shared that another agreement signed between Nepal and China was on construction of Keyrong-Rasuwagashi-Galchhi-Ratamate 400 KV transmission line, resumption of Tatopani Check Point by 2019, expansion of Rasuwagadhi road section, cooperation between the two countries on the research and extraction of the petroleum products.
He informed that he on behalf of President Bidya Devi Bhandari invited Chinese President to visit Nepal, and he also personally requested his Chinese counterpart Li to visit the Himalayan nation.
He expressed his confidence that the commitments made by him in China during his recent visit would phase into implementation in sometime and the results would be visible too.

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