Nepal urges China to upgrade border routes

Kathmandu, December 24

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa, who is on an official visit to China, today urged the Chinese side to further enhance bilateral cooperation by developing and upgrading border trade routes and concluding a transit treaty.

Thapa stated this when he called on Chinese Vice-president Li Yuanchao at the Great Hall of the people in Beijing this afternoon.

Highlighting the need to further cooperation in areas of trade, investment, tourism and energy as well as other productive sectors, Thapa said, “In this context, cooperation between the two countries in developing and upgrading border trade points and concluding a transit treaty between the two countries would be crucial.”

He also thanked the people and the Government of China for their continued and generous support in Nepal’s development effort and conveyed deep appreciation for their generous and spontaneous support in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in April, according to a release issued by the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing.

Vice-president Li, while welcoming the Nepali delegation led by Thapa, stated that the visit assumed special significance in the commemorative year of the 60th anniversary of establishment of bilateral relations and assured him of China’s full support and cooperation for the development of Nepal in the post-quake reconstruction efforts.

Recalling the Chinese grant of 1,000 metric tonnes of petroleum products in order to address Nepal’s fuel crisis, Li also expressed the possibility of further support to Nepal in this regard, according to Nepali Embassy.

Thapa is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi tomorrow when the two sides will focus on a host of bilateral issues, including import of fuels from China, signing a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, Free Trade Agreement as well as the Trade and Transit Agreement.

During the meeting, accompanying Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Agni prasad Kharel, and Nepali ambassador to China, secretaries from the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Commerce & Supplies were also present.

From the Chinese side, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs and other senior officials were present.

Meanwhile Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei today said the Chinese side, in the course of this visit, wished to forge a “comprehensive cooperative partnership” with Nepal to deepen the existing bilateral friendship.

“Through the visit, we look forward to increasing mutual trust, expanding cooperation, deepening friendship and forging ahead with the comprehensive cooperative partnership featuring ever-lasting friendship,” Hong said during a regular press briefing this afternoon.

According to him, the two sides will exchange views on the next year’s plan for development of

bilateral relations, practical cooperation across the board as well as other issues of common interest during the visit.