Nepal-China consultation mechanism to hold meeting

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    Kathmandu, June 19

    After a hiatus of four years, Nepal and China are all set to hold the 11th meeting of the Diplomatic Consultation Mechanism in the capital tomorrow.

    A six-member delegation led by Chinese Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kong Xuan You, who heads the Asia and Consular Affairs Department at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, arrived in Kathmandu today.

    “The meeting will primarily focus on the entire gamut of bilateral relations and review the implementation status of a number of historical bilateral deals reached between China and Nepal,” Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi said. He however declined to dwell on the details of the meet.

    According to an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting will also dwell upon the bilateral deals signed between China and Nepal during the visits of two former prime ministers — KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal — to China. Being a signatory to The One Belt One Road initiative of China, Nepal will also seek support in building infrastructure.

    The official added that the meeting will also discuss the issues of effective implementation of those deals reached through bilateral negotiations between the two countries and other ongoing development projects assisted by China, including post-earthquake reconstruction works. Reopening of Araniko Highway, progress of dry port construction at Tatopani along the same highway, construction of another dry port in Rasuwagadi, enhancement of Chinese financial assistance in the construction of infrastructure such as hydro-electricity generation, including the Budigandaki hydel project, inviting more Chinese investment, expediting construction works of Pokhara Airport, among others, will be discussed and reviewed in the meeting.

    Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong and her senior staff at the Embassy are joining the delegation, while Foreign Secretary Bairagi is leading the Nepali side comprising high officials from the ministries of finance, health, law, home affairs, local development, tourism and civil aviation, industry, commerce, and urban development and Nepal Reconstruction Authority.

    The 15-point Joint Communiqué issued during ex-premier Oli’s trip to the northern neighbour last year stated “The two sides agreed to make full use of existing mechanisms, including the Diplomatic Consultations and the Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting, to expand exchanges and cooperation between government departments, legislatures and political parties.”

    During the visit, the two sides had inked the landmark Agreement on Transit Transport.

    The 10th meeting of the Diplomatic Consultation Mechanism was held in Beijing in August 2013. The then foreign secretary Arjun Bahadur Thapa had led the Nepali delegation to Beijing.

    Moreover, Oli’s China visit had yielded major agreements, including a landmark deal on transit trade. The transit deal was aimed at reducing Nepal’s huge economic dependence on India. The transit agreement has given Nepal access to the sea via Chinese ports.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post