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Nepal-China relations offer enormous possibilities

By Mahendra Bahadur Pandey | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-07-31 09:25

Nepal and China are nations with deep civilizational linkages dating back to antiquity. On Aug 1,1955, Nepal and the People's Republic of China established diplomatic relations, ushering into a new age the deep and ancient bonds of friendship between the two countries and the two peoples.

Staff workers take a photo with the medical supplies donated by Chamdo city, Tibet autonomous region to Nepal's Jiri municipality, on June 5, 2020. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Ever since, the two countries have enjoyed cordial and fruitful bilateral relations characterized by amity and goodwill, equality and harmony, and mutual support and cooperation.

Founded on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the Charter of the United Nations and principles of good neighborliness, these relations have grown and flourished in multiple sectors over the past six-and-a-half decades.

The pursuit of social and economic development by enhancing cooperation in trade, tourism, investment and connectivity; building human capital and infrastructure; and deepening people-to-people relations is at the center of Nepal-China bilateral relations.

The exchange of state visits at the presidential level last year attests to the high importance accorded by our two countries in further promoting our mutually beneficial bilateral relations.

Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari visited China in April 2019, and President Xi Jinping visited Nepal in October last year. During these visits, the two sides reached consensus on further promoting bilateral cooperation to achieve mutual benefit and pursue stability and development together.

Nepal has always supported the one-China policy as a matter of principle and has never allowed its soil to be used against China. Despite historic political changes in Nepal over the years, there has never been any change on this policy; neither will there be any in the future.

Based on the strong foundations of mutual understanding and trust, Nepal and China have been working together for further advancing the age-old, time-tested and mutually beneficial bilateral cooperative relations between the two countries.

Over the years, Nepal and China have made significant achievements in promoting bilateral cooperation in fields such as building infrastructure, advancing connectivity and deepening people-to-people exchanges.

There are enormous possibilities for further promoting socioeconomic transformation and raising the living standards of the peoples of our countries through enhanced cooperation and joint collaboration in various areas of mutual interest.

Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative is of great significance for both Nepal and China. In October last year, our leaders stressed the need to intensify implementation of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation under the BRI under the framework of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network.

The construction of tunnels along the road from Jilong in the Tibet autonomous region to Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, establishment of Madan Bhandari University for Science and Technology in Nepal, development of the three North-South corridors in Nepal - Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali - and the Nepal-China electric power cooperation plan are some of the landmark projects in the areas of infrastructure, industry and education that were agreed to be initiated in Nepal during President Xi's state visit to Nepal.

The BRI will help build the critical infrastructure and remove barriers for a seamless movement of people, goods and services across the Nepal-China boundary.

The improvement in transportation and connectivity will help countries in the region to integrate their markets and reap the benefits of expanded trade and commerce. The enhancement of trade connectivity is a shared objective of the two countries.

It is tragic that the COVID-19 pandemic has suspended normal economic activities the world over and brought mounting challenges to the task of socioeconomic development, especially for developing countries like Nepal.

During the period of the epidemic, Nepal-China cooperation in fighting the pandemic has remained strong. The two countries have been working closely to strengthen health cooperation, supply medical equipment and exchange professional expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

Our collaborative efforts will go a long way in containing the spread of the virus, restarting our economies and reviving the livelihoods of our peoples.

The Nepali people highly appreciate the remarkable strides made by China in recent years in the pursuit of peace, stability and prosperity. We stand in support and solidarity with China in its efforts to attain greater prosperity for its people.

We hope the Chinese people will succeed in attaining the first centennial goal of achieving moderate prosperity by the end of this year despite the challenges created by the pandemic.

We firmly believe that China's continuous progress and stability will make valuable contributions to Nepal's pursuit of economic development and social progress. Our shared geography and shared ecologies, as well as shared dreams and shared aspirations, give rise to a shared destiny of common development and common prosperity of our peoples.

Looking forward, Nepal and China will continue to work closely together to further promote and advance Nepal-China friendship and cooperation, while jointly combating the pandemic, restarting economies and reviving people's livelihoods in our respective countries.

The author is the ambassador of Nepal to China. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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