October 14: Nepal and China have expressed commitment to move hand-in-hand under the Belt and Road Initiative. The two countries made such announcement in a 14-point joint statement issued after Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his two-day state visit to Nepal on Sunday (October 13).
The two countries have decided to consider the BRI as a means to achieve common goals and a basis for prosperity.
The joint statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that Nepal and China have agreed to enhance connectivity through the network of roads, railways, airways, ports and infrastructure development under the BRI framework.
The joint statement also validates the announcement made by President Xi during a dinner hosted in his honour by President Bidya Devi Bhandari in which the Chinese president had promised connectivity, trans-border railway service, opening of new customs points and to make Nepal a land-linked country from land-locked country.
The statement says that the two countries have agreed to promote multi-dimensional trans-Himalayan trade to ensure that Nepal becomes a mid-income country by 2030.
The agreement on conducting feasibility study of the Nepal-China trans-border railway project has set the stage for constructing the railway line, the joint statement says.
Nepal and China have also agreed to reopen the Khasa port which was devastated by the 2015 earthquakes while opening of other ports like Kerung and Nechung are also in the agenda of the two countries.
The two countries have also agreed to repair and upgrade the Arniko Highway. The Chinese side has also shown interest to repair the Syafrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road.
The two countries have also expressed their commitment to expedite the North-South Corridor, Koshi Economic Corridor, Gandaki Economic Corridor and Karnali Economic Corridor. Both countries have also agreed to expand air services.
Nepal and China have also agreed to address the issue of climate change for which the Chinese side has expressed its commitment to preserve the environment.
China has also agreed to set up Nepal’s consulate in Chengdu.
According to the joint statement, Nepal and China have also agreed to support each other in international forums including the United Nations.
The two countries signed 18 agreements and two letter of exchange in the presence of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Chinese President Xi.