President Bhandari Begins Her China Visit To Attend BRI Summit

President Bhandari Begins Her China Visit To Attend BRI Summit

April 24, 2019, 6:52 p.m.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari arrived in china. At the invitation of Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, President Bhandari is visiting China. She arrived in Xi'an of Shaanxi Province this afternoon on the first leg of State Visit to the People's Republic of China.

Upon arrival at the Xianyang International Airport of Xi'an, the President was received by the Vice-Governor of Shaanxi Province Hu Minglang, Ambassador of Nepal to China Leela Mani Paudyal, Ambassador of China to Nepal Hou Yanqi, and other senior officials of the People's Republic of China.

The President is accompanied by Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dormani Paudel, Chief Minister of Province No. 3, Members of Parliament, high-ranking officials of the Government of Nepal, and a business delegation.

The Governor of Shaanxi Province,Liu Guozhong will call on the President tomorrow afternoon.

According to a press release issued by Embassy of Nepal in Beijing, the President will leave for Beijing in the evening tomorrow.

Nepal and China will likely to sign a number of bilateral agreements, including the Protocol of the Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement and pacts on Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network under the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative during President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s nine-day state visit to the northern neighbor beginning tomorrow.

Bhandari’s is a first ever state visit to the northern neighbour by a Nepali president. She will lead a Nepali delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which kicks off in Beijing on April 25.

According to The Himalayan Times, the major agreements to be signed during delegation-level bilateral meeting between Bhandari and Xi on April 29 include the protocol that will pave the way for the implementation of the TTA that was signed in March 2016 during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s China visit.

The Protocol to the TTA has allowed Nepal to use Shenzen, Lianyungang, Zhanjiang and Tianjin seaports, ending Nepal’s sole dependence on Indian ports for overseas trade.

Similarly, the two sides will sign agreements on customs cooperation, on expediting Chinese-aided projects in Nepal, and on cultural property protection aimed at curbing illegal trade in artefacts, according to high-level sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Himalayan Times reports that Nepal and China will also sign an agreement on boosting cooperation between Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology and Standardisation Administration of China. This agreement is aimed at boosting trade between the two countries.

Under the BRI, the forum will, on April 27, adopt a joint communiqué which will explicitly include projects in Nepal under the initiative, including those related to the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network. The communiqué will also include upcoming projects on trade, transit and connectivity. “Inclusion of Nepali projects in the joint communiqué is important because this communiqué will shape the future of the BRI,” said the source.

Bhandari will address the third of the three high-level sessions on April 26 and present Nepal’s views on sustainable development. She will also take part in the leaders’ round table on April 27 and present Nepal’s views on BRI, how to move forward with the initiative and what are Nepal’s benefits and stakes.

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