PM concludes China trip, returning today

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is scheduled to return home tomorrow afternoon, concluding his six-day official visit to the People’s Republic of China.

The PM left for the northern neighbour on December 26, leading a 36-member delegation. During his stay there, he met Chinese President Hu Jintao, his counterpart Wen Jiabao, top political leaders and government officials. “During the meeting, PM Nepal briefed the Chinese President about the latest political situation of Nepal, including the ongoing peace and constitution writing processes,” foreign secretary Dr Madan Kumar Bhattarai told this daily from Beijing.

According to Bhattarai, President Hu expressed his support to the ongoing peace process. “I want to see peace, stability and development in Nepal,” secretary Bhattarai quoted President Hu as telling PM Nepal. In a joint statement, issued at the end of the visit, China offered to reduce trade tariffs and to train agricultural experts, among other assistance pledges to Nepal.

Similarly, both the countries have agreed to improve existing political and economic ties in the days ahead. The neighbours have also agreed to improve the land and air connectivity in future, expressing satisfaction at the implementation of various Chinese projects in Nepal over decades. The countries also agreed to build trade centres in the areas bordering the Tibetan Autonomous Region on the basis of mutual benefit. In the recent days, China has shown interest in the development of Nepali districts bordering with it.

“China has agreed to provide necessary support to Nepal in hydropower construction, infrastructure development, health education and human resource development,” the statement reads. The two neighbours have pledged to promote trade, investment and economic cooperation, especially in information technology, transport, agriculture, infrastructure construction and poverty reduction.

Welcoming the Chinese assistance, PM Nepal reassured that Nepali land would not be used for anti-China activities.