File - Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan speaks at the Xiangshan Forum, in Beijing, China, October 11, 2016. Photo: China Daily via Reuters
Kathmandu, March 21 Chinese Defence Minister and State Councilor General Chang Wanquan is arriving in Nepal on a three-day official visit beginning March 23. During the visit, the two sides are expected to strengthen military and security cooperation. Nepal has given high importance to this rare visit by a Chinese defence minister. Chang is set to meet all top political leaders and officials of security agencies in Kathmandu. He scheduled to meet President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi, Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand and Chief of Army Staff General Rajendra Chhetri, according to Uttam Prasad Nagila, Spokesperson for the defence ministry. Chang is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka and is expected to arrive in Kathmandu on Thursday afternoon. The Chinese defence ministry has announced that the purpose of this visit was to enhance security cooperation between China, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Nagila said a few agreements and understandings could be sealed during Chang’s visit. He, however, refrained from elaborating further. The Chinese defence minister will also discuss preparation for the first ever joint military exercise between Nepal and China that will take place within a matter of months. Earlier, the Chinese side had announced that it would hold the first ever joint military training in Nepal in 2017. Nagila said the drills would focus on disaster preparedness and counter-terrorism measures.