Saturday May 25, 2024
Saturday May 25, 2024

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to arrive this afternoon

2022 Mar 25, 12:18, Kathmandu

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will arrive in Kathmandu at 3 pm (local time), according to the officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Wangi Yi will look to ink key agreements on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on his three-day visit to the country starting today.

Officials familiar with the preparations said as many as 10 agreements related to technical and economic assistance to Nepal are likely to be signed during Wang's visit.

The focus will be on signing at least implementation agreements for projects to be developed under the BRI, officials said.

Nepal has also set a condition that there should be competitive bidding in BRI projects and they should be open to all, not just Chinese firms. "After shortlisting projects, we can move ahead with a few under the BRI," said Prakash Sharan Mahat, spokesperson of the Nepali Congress who was former foreign minister when the BRI was signed in 2017. "Preference should be given to infrastructure and connectivity-related projects as per our requirements and priority."

The Chinese visit also comes after Nepal's recent ratification of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact with the US. The MCC compact grants USD 500 million worth of developmental assistance to Nepal from the US.

The Nepali side is also expected to raise other issues including allowing more Nepali vehicles to enter China by relaxing the COVID protocol, while also allowing more Chinese trucks to enter Nepal.

The Chinese side has been allowing only 20 Chinese cargo containers to cross over to Nepal daily via the Tatopani border and nine containers via the Kerung border.

Nepal will also raise the issue of the Nepali students enrolled in Chinese universities who are currently stuck in Nepal after returning home due to the pandemic and China not reopening flights.

Wang's Nepal visit will culminate the slew of trips that the Chinese Foreign Minister has made to the South Asian countries since he arrived in Pakistan on March 21 to attend the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) summit as a "special guest". Wang also held talks with Taliban representatives in Afghanistan on Thursday. He is also the first high-level official to visit Nepal from China since Sher Bahadur Deuba assumed office as prime minister in July last year.

During his stay in Kathmandu, Wang is scheduled to call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Deuba. According to the Foreign Ministry, he will also meet with CPN-UML chair KP Sharma Oli and CPN (Maoist Centre) chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal.


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Kathmandu Ministry of foreign affairs Belt and Road Initiative Prakash Sharan Mahat Millennium Challenge Corporation Sher Bahadur Deuba President Bidya Devi Bhandari
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