Leaders, experts stress on implementation of agreements with China

The participants opined that Nepal needs to understand China's strategic concerns better and express Nepal’s interests with China.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Political leaders and experts have said that Nepal government should take initiatives to implement the agreements it signed with the government of China. Speaking during a round table discussion on Nepal-China bilateral relations with particular reference to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s visit to China in September this year, they also said that Nepal should keep balanced relations with India and China.

At the event organized by Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism (CESIF) in the capital on Tuesday, Raj Kishor Yadav, Chairperson of the International Relations and Tourism Committee at the House of Representative, expressed the necessity to maintain a balanced relationship between China and other world and regional powers. He further noted that our foreign policy must avoid “fear psychosis” when dealing with foreign countries. Tsering Lhamu Lama (Tamang), lawmaker and member of International Relations and Tourism Committee, expressed the importance of opening border points between Nepal and China. Lama representing Karnali Province, reminded that five of the border points are in Karnali, which can hugely benefit the economy of the province. Lama concluded that the visit was successful as it was also able to secure the agreement with China to build a road to Man Sarovar from Nepal.

Sishir Khanal, RSP lawmaker, noted that the Prime Minister’s visit was not clear enough in its objectives. He further said that the visit did not make any significant contributions towards the relationship between Nepal and China, including the BRI agreement and the border points. He raised a concern as Nepal formally accepted the “One China Principle,” moving on from the “One China Policy”.

Dr Minendra Rijal, former minister and Nepali Congress leader, said that the joint communique has a language that is rather imposing on Nepal. He expressed concerns about debts Nepal is taking from China, including the amount for the Pokhara International Airport.

Madhu Raman Acharya, former ambassador, pointed out that there was no substance in the agreement except the transmission line between Kerung and Rashuwagadhi. He said that among the seventy agreements since the former PM KP Sharma Oli’s visit to China, only a few are being implemented. He also expressed concerns about the joint communique’s language against Taiwan’s independence.

Participants said the agreements signed during this and previous visits have not been successfully implemented. There was also a concern that official agreements to implement BRI in Nepal are not yet public. The participants opined that Nepal needs to understand China’s strategic concerns better and express Nepal’s interests with China.