China ready to resume Kodari Highway: Hong

Kathmandu, January 10

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong today reiterated that China was ready to restore and reopen the quake-damaged Kodari Highway as early as possible and expedite bilateral trade through the old Sino-Nepal route.

During her meeting with Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat at the latter’s office today, Yu said she would be visiting sites on both sides of the border within a few days.

Mahat told The Himalayan Times that he requested Chinese support to help restore and resume the roadway obstructed by the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The Chinese side will reportedly provide technical and financial assistance to restore the roadway. As Beijing has been encouraging Nepal to be an active part of its signature Belt and Road Initiatives, Nepal has been pressing China to resume the highway, which is the main and oldest road link between the two neighbours.

During the meeting, Nepal proposed to hold an early foreign secretary level meeting in February, to which Ambassador Yu informed that Beijing was considering it positively.

During the meeting, both Minister Mahat and Ambassador Yu stated the need of swift implementation of bilateral infrastructure and other projects that were sealed during earlier high-level visits, including that of then prime minister KP Sharma’s visit to Beijing in March 2016.

A number of deals including transit-transport agreement and import of petroleum products from China to Nepal were inked during Oli’s visit.

Mahat told THT that he clarified to the envoy about recent media reports that the incumbent government was not giving due priority to relations with China. In response, Yu said China was happy with the government’s unwavering one-China policy and the commitment to not tolerate any anti-China activity in or via Nepali soil, Mahat informed.