Kathmandu: Nepal and China will sign at least 10 bilateral agreements during the visit of the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi. The Chinese Minister is arriving on a three-day visit to Nepal on Friday evening.
Sources at the Foreign Ministry said that the Chinese Foreign Minister will be inaugurating the terminal building of Pokhara Regional International Airport. The airport is being constructed with a concessional loan from China’s Export and Import (EXIM) Bank.
Although the Chinese Embassy and Foreign Ministry have not yet made public the agendas of Wang’s visit, sources said China is also preparing to announce financial aid to Nepal during the visit.
According to a Foreign Ministry official, China is preparing to announce about Rs 15 billion in annual aid to Nepal, an increase of Rs two billion from the current annual grant. The agreement will be signed between Finance Secretary Madhu Marasini and Chinese Deputy Minister-level officials. Nepal should spend the grant on infrastructure development projects.
Similarly, the implementation of Rs 56 billion aid announced during the visit of President Xi Jinping to Nepal will also be discussed during the bilateral meeting.
According to a Foreign Ministry source, a memorandum of understanding will be signed on the technical aspects as a part of the feasibility study of the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung cross-border railway. Nepal and China in 2019 had signed a memorandum of understanding on a feasibility study for the construction of the railway. It is stated that the current agreement is only an extension of the feasibility study.
Similarly, an agreement will be signed with Chitwan Cancer Hospital. China has agreed to send doctors to the hospital. Likewise, an agreement will be reached on opening Korala checkpoint among others.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sewa Lamsal said that China’s security interests and high-level visits from both sides would also be discussed. She said that the implementation of the old agreement and other issues will also be discussed.
Similarly, there is a possibility of some agreement on the implementation of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a ministry source said. A few days ago, President Bhandari had also claimed that BRI would move ahead.
During the visit, the Chinese Foreign Minister will pay a courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. Foreign Minister Dr. Narayan Khadka and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold bilateral talks leading their respective delegations on March 26.
Wang will also meet with former Prime Minister and Chairman of CPN-UML KP Sharma Oli, and former Prime Minister and Chairman of CPN (Maoist Center) Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.
This visit comes in the wake of parliamentary ratification of Millennium Challenge Corporation’s $500 million Nepal Compact about which China expressed its reservations openly and the accusation that Sher Bahadur Deuba government is turning a cold shoulder to Beijing.