Tag Archives: China

Nepal China Agreement in Beijing

Nepal China talks in Beijing 25 December

Nepal Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and China Foreign Minister Wang Yin
Nepal Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and China Foreign Minister Wang Yin

Today Nepal and China agreed to expand and consolidate bilateral cooperation focusing mainly on trade, transit, investment, energy, tourism and infrastructure development, according to a statement issued by Nepal’s Foreign Ministry.  The agreement was reached during a meeting between Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minister Kamal Thapa and the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing.  “China has expressed its willingness to seriously examine Nepal’s proposals for importation of petroleum products from China and has advised the respective companies of the two countries to jointly examine the matters relating to price, transportation and other logistics,” the statement says. Soon after this ministerial agreement, Deputy Chief of Nepal Oil Corporation Sushil Bhattarai and Under Secretary Navaraj Dhakal of Ministry of Commerce and Supplies were called (by Foreign Minister Thapa) to Beijing to sign an agreement on importing petro-products from China. Both Bhattarai and Dhakal have reached Beijing on Friday.

The Chinese side informed that travel advisories issued in the context of earthquake in Nepal has been lifted with immediate effect and hoped the number of Chinese visitors would increase significantly in future. Nepal reciprocated by announcing that visa fees for Chinese tourists visiting Nepal will be waived.

Key points (via NT):

  1. Prime Minster KP Oli is invited to visit China next year.
  2. Post-earthquake reconstruction will be accelerated, and both Araniko Highway and Syafru-Rasuwagadhi Highway will be repaired.
  3. Trade and investment cooperation will be strengthened.
  4. Long-term oil and gas trade between the two countries will be explored.
  5. Existing ports will be repaired and rehabilitated.
  6. The process to sign a Transit Transportation Agreement will be accelerated.
  7. A feasibility study will be conducted on Free Trade Agreement.
  8. Cultural exchanges will be furthered.
Nepal China talks in Beijing 25 December
Nepal-China bilateral meeting in Beijing today. Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa led the Nepali side while the Chinese side was led by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Invited by Wang, Thapa is on an official China visit from Dec. 24-29.

Most relevant parts of the press statement issued by the Foreign Ministry:

The Chinese Foreign Minister… expressed China’s strong desire to see a peaceful, stable and prosperous Nepal. He further said China would continue assisting Nepal in her development endeavours.

The two sides discussed the importance of exchanging high level visits between the two countries. The Chinese side has conveyed the invitation to the Prime Minister of Nepal to visit China at an early date. There will be a high-level visit from China to Nepal as well next year.

Expressing happiness over the development of bilateral relations and cooperation over the last 60 years, the two sides agreed to expand and consolidate bilateral cooperation focusing mainly on trade, transit, investment, energy, tourism and infrastructure development. They agreed to upgrade and operationalize the existing border points and develop the other border points to promote connectivity between the two countries. The Chinese side has agreed to give priority to the reopening of the Tatopani-Zhangmu border point, which has been disrupted after the April 25 earthquake.

The intergovernmental mechanisms have been tasked to advance negotiations on the proposals on free trade area, transit and Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) which were discussed during the meeting today.

China has expressed its willingness to seriously examine Nepal’s proposals for importation of petroleum products from China and has advised the respective companies of the two countries to jointly examine the matters relating to price, transportation and other logistics. As a friendly gesture, China will make available additional fuel to northern areas of Nepal bordering Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Chinese side informed that it would soon take up agreed projects for post-disaster reconstruction as per its pledged assistance during the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction. China has announced its willingness to support Nepal’s industrialization process through reconstruction. Hon. Mr. Thapa thanked the Government of China for extending generous support to Nepal’s socioeconomic development over the years. He also appreciated the spontaneous and prompt support received from China in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake of Nepal.

The two leaders discussed the ways for promoting people to people contact. In this context, the Chinese side informed that travel advisories issued in the context of earthquake in Nepal has been lifted with immediate effect and hoped the number of Chinese visitors would increase significantly in future. The Hon. Deputy Prime Minister reciprocated the friendly gesture of his Chinese counterpart by announcing that the Government of Nepal would waive visa fees for Chinese tourists.

…Mr. Lok Darshan Regmi, Finance Secretary of Nepal and Mr. Zhang Xiangchen, Vice Minister of Commerce of China signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation under which China would make available 900 million RMB as grant assistance for the implementation of the projects of repair and maintenance of Araniko Highway and other projects of interconnection and interworking. It may be recalled that this assistance was announced by the Chinese President during his meeting with his Nepalese counterpart in March 2015 in Boao, Hainan.

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General Rana’s Political and Undiplomatic Statement

Update: The Nepali Army today issued a press statement claiming that comments attributed to him are false and that he didn’t give any formal interview to any news outlets during his trip to India last week.

“The news reports published in a few media outlets in the past few days that Chief of the Army Mr Rana gave interview commenting upon the security of Nepal and neighboring countries and issues related to that are inaccurate and misleading. As Chief of the Army Mr Rana, during the week-long visit, didn’t give any types of formal interview to the media those comments, it seems, those comments have been disseminated out of context.

“Nepali Army is a professional and apolitical organization that, while remaining within constitutional authority, respects civil supremacy. There is no possibility of Nepali Army or the leadership of the Nepali Army passing comments of such irresponsible nature. It is to let all know that the military leadership hasn’t made such comments.”

UWB note: The Nepal Army statement, worded in Nepali, is a very badly written note with confusing sentence structure- as if it were a work of a liar who unexpectedly found himself/herself in a police interrogation room. If Mr Rana didn’t give any formal interview, were his comments published in the Times of India informally provided to the reporter? The Nepali Army statement seems to be implying that as it states Rana didn’t give any FORMAL interview to any news outlet and that news reports and commentaries seem to have come out of context (so what was the context?). Nepali Army may still be apolitical, professional and under civilian control as claimed in the Army statement but we refused to believe that the same can be said to the army leadership- namely Gaurav Rana. He should come clean.

Was it merely a slip of the tongue or our Army chief actually wanted to show how childish he can be when it comes to dealing with international issues? Was he intending to appease the Indians (if yes, he failed to do so) and hurt our relationship with the Chinese? If he fancies working as a political/strategic commentator for Indian newspapers, he should first resign from the post of the Chief of the Army Staff and cross over to India. Also, you can’t be a spokesperson (a bad one) of the Indian Army while still holding the top position at the Nepali Army.

Continue reading General Rana’s Political and Undiplomatic Statement

Chinese Prime Minister Will Come to Nepal in December

wen jiabao
Wen Jiabao

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is arriving in Kathmandu on December 20 on a three-day visit, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said on Tuesday. “After the visit of the Chinese Premier, I will visit China,” PM Bhattarai told a select group of journalists. Wen will be the highest-ranking official to visit from Nepal’s immediate neighbours—India and China—since 2001. Earlier, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited Nepal in 2001 and Chinese President Jiang Zemin in 1996.

However, Wen’s detailed itinerary is in the process of finalisation and  Nepali officials have begun consultation to prepare agendas to be raised during the Chinese Premier’s visit. Continue reading Chinese Prime Minister Will Come to Nepal in December

China’s Political and Economic missions in Nepal: Investment- Yes, Interference- No.

More Chinese investments in Nepal is very much welcome because this will help us become self-sustained and independent.

By Prithvi Man Shrestha

The Chinese private sector is looking at Nepal as an investment destination. This was the message Chinese businessmen tried to convey in the 11th meeting of Nepal-China Non-Government Cooperation Forum in Kathmandu on Thursday (16 Sept). With China’s financial muscle getting stronger, Nepal’s hydropower, tourism and agriculture sectors are on its investment radar. Their seriousness can be gauged by the fact that a high-level 40-member team came to Nepal to attend the forum. And most of them, according to Chinese ambassador to Nepal Qiu Guohong, are from reputed companies.

The business delegation led by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) first vice-chairman Quan Zhezhu, who is also a vice-minister, had entrepreneurs from established and renowned Chinese private companies in the areas of tourism, aviation, metallurgy, real estate, medicines and mechanical engineering. Addressing the inauguration session, Qiu set the tone by saying that the power shortage in Nepal is an important opportunity for Chinese companies to be involved in hydropower development in Nepal.

China’s interest on hydropower development was evident from the fact that the businesspersons told their Nepali counterparts that they wanted to invest in hydro projects ranging from 10 MW to 500 MW.

“This will pave the way for even the district-based small Nepali entrepreneurs to invest in a joint venture with the Chinese,” said Kush Kumar Joshi, president of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). The Chinese side also said they discussed hydropower, tourism and agriculture, among others, and expressed willingness to bring in investment in Nepal. “We will bring reputed Chinese companies here to explore the new investment avenues in Nepal,” said ACFIC first vice-chairman Quan. (Continued after the box)

Sept 14: A 47-member team of Chinese entrepreneurs, hydropower experts and power developers arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday (Sept 14) to attend a high-level conclave organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will inaugurate the three-day “brainstorming session,” which Nepal’s top bureaucrats, policy makers and entrepreneurs will attend. “Investment in Hydropower” will be the 11th initiative in the Nepal-China non-Governmental Cooperation series started in 1996 during the visit of then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to China. Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission Dr Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel, Foreign Secretary Madan Kumar Bhattarai, Energy Secretary Shanker Koirala and entrepreneurs from the Nepali hydro power sector will participate in the conclave. Nepal and India had orgainsed such a conclave for two consecutive years after Jana Andolan II in 2006, with Nepal Electricity Authority and Power Trading Corporation of India as the lead agencies.

During the three-day segment, entrepreneurs and experts from both sides will give their perspectives on Nepal’s policy and investment opportunities on hydropower, and more importantly, how China can help the hydro power sector in Nepal. Quan Zhezhu, vice-minister of the United Front Work of CPC Central Committee (UFW) and party secretary of All China Federation of Industries and Commerce (AFIC) will lead the Chinese delegation. epresentatives from Snap Power Company, Sino Hydro and Dtang Company are interested in investing in the hydro sector in Nepal, said a government official. Kumin and Xian provinces that have extensive experience in developing hydropower and grid extension are also in the Chinese delegation.

“China wants to engage its state owned companies in Nepal’s hydro power sector, utilizing its huge foreign currency reserve. This is a clear indication that China wants to extend its quick growth to Nepal to tap our hydro power potential,” a senior Foreign Ministry Official said. Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM), Gezhouba Company, the builder of Three Gorges Dam are also interested in investing in Nepal, said sources.

Currently, Sunkoshi (10MW) hydro project has been completed with Chinese grant assistance, while the northern neighbour has offered a soft loan for the Trishuli-3A (61MW) project. Chinese aid for Nalsyaugad (400MW) is under consideration, according to the Ministry of Energy. Continue reading China’s Political and Economic missions in Nepal: Investment- Yes, Interference- No.

Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and Alleged Maoist-‘Chinese’ Phone Conversation

Writing on the front pages of Kantipur and The  Kathmandu Post, the editors of the papers today say that a high-ranking official from a foreign diplomatic mission (Indian mission) in Kathmandu had called them on Friday night to inquire if they were interested in publishing the alleged Mahara conversation with a man with Chinese accent. Kantipur editor writes that they, along with about a dozen other Nepali editors, were having regular informal discussions with the Chinese ambassador in Baluwatar when the call from the diplomat came to the Post editor. “We have a recorded telephone conversation, can you publish it?” said the diplomat.

“What’s that about?”
“You will know once you listen to it,” was the reply to Upadhyay.

Later we learned from other sources that the conversation was between Maoist leader KB Mahara and a man alleged to be Chinese. But it was not clear who that “Chinese” was and the telephone numbers on which the conversation took place. It was also not clear how that was recorded. The caller only wanted to know if we could publish that conversation today. (continue reading Kantipur editor’s account in Nepali below)

By Akhilesh Upadhyay
Editor, The Kathmandu Post (on the front page, today)

Not everyday do newspapers feel the need to explain to their readers why they did what they did. Many of you may have wondered—some have aloud to our ears—why the Kathmandu Post on Saturday did not carry a news item which has otherwise received great prominence in some papers. This demands an explanation. The issues at hand are of utmost gravity. The story in question is about the allegation that China was all set to make a huge cash infusion to the Maoist party to influence the outcome of the sixth round of prime ministerial election slated for Sunday.

According to the news carried in some newspapers and TV networks on Friday night and Saturday morning, China had assured the Maoist leadership of Rs. 500 million. The money, the news suggests, would be enough to garner support of 50 non-Maoist lawmakers whose backing in turn would be enough to elect UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal as the prime minister. The story obviously implicates China in high-stake horse trading. Naturally then, some ran the story with a caveat: Authenticity of the leaked audio tape of the conversation between Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara and “a Chinese official”, on which the story rests, could not be independently established. Continue reading Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and Alleged Maoist-‘Chinese’ Phone Conversation