Xi says want to push for continued advancement of China-Nepal ties
Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said he wants to push for a continued advancement of ties with Nepal amidst Beijing's sustained forays to shore up pro-China Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's grip on power in the backdrop of intra-party feud in the ruling communist party.
In an exchange of congratulatory messages with his Nepalese counterpart Bidhya Devi Bhandari on the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, Xi asserted that he was ready to work to bring greater benefits to the two peoples of the two neighbouring countries.
The Chinese President said that he attaches great importance to the development of China-Nepal relations and is willing to work with his Nepali counterpart Bhandari to push for the continued advancement of the bilateral relationship.
Xi, also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, said that since the establishment of the diplomatic ties, the two countries have always respected each other, treated each other as equals, enhanced political mutual trust and deepened mutually beneficial cooperation.
Noting that he and Bhandari exchanged visits last year and elevated the bilateral ties to a strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity, Xi said the two sides have stood together through thick and thin in the fight against the COVID-19 and have written a new chapter of friendship between China and Nepal, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Nepalese counterpart Oli too exchanged greetings.
"Highlighting the deep-rooted cordial friendship since ages, the Prime Minister (Oli) underlined that Nepal has consistently maintained the One China Policy' and China has always respected Nepal's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence, Nepal's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Nepal's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, in his message to China's State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, appreciated Wang's role in strengthening the bilateral ties, it said. Wang expressed his "willingness to work together with Gyawali to strengthen communication and cooperation, implement the important consensus reached between the leaders and make a positive contribution to the development of China-Nepal Strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity , the statement said.
Nepal and China established their diplomatic relations on August 1, 1955.
China's political profile in Nepal has been on the rise in the recent years with billions of dollars of investments under Beijing's multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including the building of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network. Besides the investments, China's ambassador to Kathmandu Hou Yanqi has made open efforts to garner support for Oli, who faced a massive rebellion in his party headed by co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'.
Hou met Prachanda and other leaders seeking their backing for Oli but the rebellion against the prime minister has not subsided.