When Nepalese president Dr. Ram Baran Yadav and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a meeting in Boao, the first meeting between the two heads of state after Nepal was declared a Republic in 2008, both the sideswere in jubilation.
After the meeting, Chinese president Xi announced RMB 900 million (Rs 14.5 billion) in Chinese economic package to Nepal. The aid is on top of the annual Chinese assistance to Nepal, which was recently raised from RMB 150 million to RMB 900 million (Rs 13billion).
This generous gesture showed by the Chinese leader was meaningful.
“This is a great goodwill gesture shown by China to Nepal’s development and prosperity,” said Narayan Khadka, Urban Development minister, who visited China with president Dr. Yadav. “Chinese president and leaders have expressed the commitment to provide all kinds of support to uplift the livelihood of the Nepalese people.”
PresidentDr. Yadav had flown to China on March 26 to address the Boao Forum for Asia 2015 in Hainan province of China. He returned on April 2 after paying a successful visit.
As in the past, the Chinese leadership has again shown that itis concerned about the stability and economic prosperity in Nepal. The leaders hold the view that only a stable and prosperous Nepal can guarantee the security of its neighbors.
As Nepal and China have agreed to graciously mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two neighboring countries,many other events and activities have also been planned by the two sides to celebrate the diamond jubilee during this year.
“We will use this amount for three road projects-Kodari Highway, Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu link road and Jomsom to Beni road,” said Minister Khadka.
With the visit of Nepalese president Dr. Yadav to China, Nepali officials have been engaged in diplomatic efforts to rope President XI into visiting Nepal. No Chinese president has visited Nepal for the last 19 years.
President Dr. Yadav invited the Chinese president to visit Nepal to celebrate the 60th anniversary. “The Chinese president has shown a positive gesture,” said a member of delegation on condition of anonymity.
Although president Dr. Ram Baran Yadavpaid his first goodwill visit betweenOctober 26 and November 1, 2010 in connection with attending the closing ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo 2010, this was the first time he held a bilateral meeting with his counterpart.
“The visit of president Dr. Yadav to China was important as it marked the first official visit by the country's head of state after Nepal was declared a republic,” said minister Dr. Khadka, addressing a press meet.
“The bilateral meeting between presidentDr Yadav and his Chinese counterpart in connection with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Nepal-China diplomatic relations took the bilateral relations between the two countries to yet another height,” said minister Dr. Khadka.
Along with the offer of assistance, China also agreed toprovide training and scholarship to 1,500 Nepali students in the next five years.
“The meetings with Chinese top political leadership, including president Xi Jinping, senior government officials from the center as well as Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China have helped further strengthen the bilateral relations subsisting between the two countries,” said minister Dr. Khadka.
The president also visited Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China where he held meetings with the senior officials of the TAR government, including its president. Senior TAR government officials had appreciated presidentDr Yadav for Nepal's support to contain anti-China activities in Nepali territory.
Among the other things, the Nepali delegation led by presidentDr Yadav had also taken the opportunity to see the Chinese railway link from Lhasa to Sigatse. China has announced its plan to take the railway link to Kerung by 2020.
President Yadav’s visit was of great significance in both Nepal and China as the visit took place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the diamond jubilee (60th anniversary) of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
“Nepal has always stood firmly in favour of the one-China policy and does not allow any activities on its territory that may harm China’s interests. The People’s Republic of China, on its part, is sincerely assisting Nepal in various ways. China has become an important development partner of Nepal and has always shown the willingness to provide all kinds of support for Nepal’s development,” said minister Dr. Khadka.
As a result, both Nepal and China have been playing the role of good neighbors. In other words, Nepal and China are partners and friends in need.Although Nepal has seen many governments and political systems, China’s policy towards Nepal has remained unchanged.
Beijing’s desire to see peace, stability and prosperity in Nepal was well reflected during president Yadav’s visit, which will have a long-term impact on Nepal-China relations. China is particularly interested in seeing more investment in Nepal’s hydropower sector so that Nepal can not only get rid of its long hours of power cuts but also export surplus energy to give a boost to its economy.