Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, commonly known as ‘Prachanda,’ is currently on an official visit to China. During this visit, the Nepali Prime Minister held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The discussions between the two nations covered various developmental issues. President Xi Jinping pledged to enhance China’s connectivity with Nepal, which is surrounded by India, and contribute to the development of fundamental infrastructure.
First-Ever China Visit for Prachanda
Prime Minister Prachanda’s visit marks his first official trip to China since assuming office as Prime Minister towards the end of last year. Prior to this, Prachanda had embarked on official visits to India and the United States. During their meeting, President Xi Jinping mentioned that both countries had achieved success in various projects, including the “Trans-Himalayan Multidimensional Connectivity Network.”
Strategic Efforts to Improve Nepal’s Connectivity
According to foreign media reports, the regions between Nepal and Tibet are rugged, making the development of road and rail networks vital for improving connectivity between the two countries. Nepal primarily depends on India for most of its imports, and China aims to reduce this dependency by expanding its presence in Nepal. However, several Chinese projects in Nepal have faced obstacles, including the development of fundamental infrastructure.
Prachanda stated, “We are both good friends, and Nepal and China are good friends. We can trust each other. We should strengthen bilateral relations. We should support each other’s issues.” He emphasized the need for both nations to bolster their bilateral ties and extend support to each other on mutual concerns.
Pragmatic Steps to Strengthen Ties
Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Pragna Ghimire, disclosed that Nepal signed agreements on transport and transit with China, reaching up to seven Chinese border points. Nine projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) were also selected during the meeting.
During their discussions, President Xi Jinping highlighted the importance of taking pragmatic steps to strengthen Nepal-China relations. He emphasized the need to enhance bilateral cooperation, stating that he considers Prachanda a visionary global leader.
The visit underscores Nepal’s strategic efforts to improve connectivity with its northern neighbor, China, and reduce its reliance on India for trade and development.