Chinese FM to arrive in Nepal on Friday

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu, Wang and Khadka will meet on Saturday after which the two sides are expected to sign some agreements

Wang Yi
Wang Yi
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IANS

After concluding his trip to New Delhi, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will arrive in Kathmandu on Friday during which he will hold delegation-level talks with his Nepalese counterpart Narayan Khadka.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu, Wang and Khadka will meet on Saturday after which the two sides are expected to sign some agreements.

During his three-day stay, Wang will call on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, opposition party leader KP Sharma Oli, NCP (Maoist Centre) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, among others.

According to media reports, China is likely to announce an increase of its annual grants to Nepal and will finance and invest in some projects related to infrastructure, cross border connectivity, health, education, trade, commerce and some others.

The two nations will stress on the implementation of past accords and agreements signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Nepal in 2019 and former Nepal Prime Minister Oli's visit to Beijing in 2018.

Wang will be the first high-level Chinese official to visit Nepal since Deuba assumed office as Prime Minister in July last year.

Wang is visiting Kathmandu on the heels of the ratification of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Nepal Compact, which Beijing has expressed reservations about.

The visit is also seen as Beijing's renewed effort to push some projects under the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, which Nepal signed up to in May 2017, four months before signing the MCC compact, which involves a $500 million American grant.

Not even a single project has taken off under the BRI in Nepal in the last five years.

Focus will be on inking at least implementation agreements for projects to be developed under the BRI, officials said.

Both sides, however, are still in the negotiation stage on the draft documents which will pave the way for selecting the projects, financing them and developing them in a time-bound manner.


The Chinese Foreign Minister's visit to Pakistan, India and Nepal also comes amid a geopolitical flux.

Nepal is the last stop of his South Asia tour that he began on March 23 from Pakistan to attend the 48th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers' meeting.

On Wednesday, Wang drew rebuke, the sharpest ever, from Delhi over his statement on Tuesday that China "shares the same hope" as the OIC on Kashmir. India has been fighting an armed insurgency in Kashmir for decades and the OIC has long advocated Kashmiris' "inalienable right to self-determination".

On Thursday, Wang made an unannounced visit to Kabul, while he was expected to fly directly to Delhi from Islamabad.

Wang landed in New Delhi on Thursday evening and on Friday, he held talks with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

This is the first visit by a high-level Chinese diplomat to India since the border dispute between the two nations erupted in Ladakh over two years ago.

So far, 15 rounds of military talks have taken place to resolve the issue..

His South Asia tour also comes at a time when Kathmandu has taken a different position than that of Beijing and Delhi on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Nepal has opposed.

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