Nepal National New Agency, RSS
Though the government has not officially announced the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, preparations are being made in full swing to welcome the Chinese dignitary. Prime Minister Babu Ram Bhattarai, with a group of select journalists has revealed that his Chinese counterpart will be in town for a three-day visit kicking off on December 19.
'The schedule of the Chinese premier's visit is yet to be finalized. The foreign ministry is preparing a detailed plan for his trip in consultation with Chinese officials’, said a senior official at the foreign ministry requesting anonymity.
Both countries are likely to sign deals regarding development of hydro-power projects, road construction as well as financial assistance on security and border management. Exchange of bilateral visits including at the highest level has immensely contributed to further deepen Nepal-China ties.
Ex-King Gyanendra and Queen Komal Shah paid a state visit to China in 2002 and the visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin, in 1996 and Premier Zhu Rongji in 2001 have been significant in enhancing good-neighborly relations between Nepal and China. The visit of Chinese Prime Minister is taking place at the time when Nepal is under a transitional period, faced with two historical tasks, successful completion of peace process and constitution drafting. To achieve these prime goals, government of Nepal seeks additional support from the northern neighbor not only to realize state stability but also to ensure economic development, national harmony and social progress. This reflects our desire to have across the board engagement with China, so that the fruits of bilateral cooperation are available to people on both sides of the border.
China and Nepal are friendly neighbors and the people of both the countries have enjoyed a history of friendly exchanges that dates back to more than one thousand years. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 56 years ago, bilateral ties have been developing steadily. Both sides hold mutual respect, trust and support to each other and treat each other as equals. China has been cherishing the traditional friendship between the two countries and has reiterated on various occasions that it would like to work along with Nepal to continue to deepen bilateral friendly cooperation in various fields based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and in line with the principle of "treating its neighbors well and as partners", so as to push good-neighborly partnership between the two countries to one new level after another.
It would be relevant to quote a recent statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha, 'Nepal would continue to resolutely adhere to the One-China policy and is willing to further strengthen exchanges of high-level visits between the two countries and expand bilateral exchanges and cooperation in economy, trade, culture and other areas, in a bid to promote continuous development of bilateral good-neighborly and friendly cooperative relations.
At the same time, Nepal has also appreciated 'one country two systems' principle as enunciated by China and applied successfully in Hongkong and Macao in the form of special administrative regions. Our two countries are witnessing an extraordinary period of cooperation and friendship. The visit of the Chinese Prime Minister will provide an opportunity to review the progress achieved in the implementation of the decisions taken during the historic high level bilateral visits in the recent past. People of Nepal expect that this visit will lead to an enhanced cooperation between the two nations and conclude concrete agreements in harnessing water resources, improvement of border infrastructure, trade facilitation and economic cooperation which will help us to elevate the level of our cooperation in the traditional areas of cooperation and to develop cooperation in new areas of Sino-Nepal relations have, in the last decade particularly, grown increasingly multi-faceted.
This has provided a room for broader and closer interaction with each other ushering a way forward for enhanced level of cooperation for the greater benefit of Nepali people.
'The future of our relations, if we use not only our complementarities in development and economic growth but also our great strengths in cultural and civilizational values, thus emerging as hubs of creativity and innovation, to create a fitting new paradigm for the Nepal-China equation,' observes Rajeshwor Acharya, former Nepali ambassador to China.
According to Mr. Acharya, our two countries are witnessing an extraordinary period of cooperation and friendship. The visit of the Chinese Prime Minister will provide an opportunity to review the progress achieved in the implementation of the decisions taken during the high level bilateral visits in the recent past.
'People of Nepal expect that this visit to facilitate greater cooperation between the two nations and conclude that some concrete agreements in harnessing water resources, improvement of border infrastructure, trade facilitation and economic cooperation will be made which will help us to elevate the level of our cooperation in the traditional areas of cooperation and to develop cooperation in new areas,' opines Acharya.
It would not be inappropriate to mention the Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yang Houlan's observation on China's unswerving pursuance of independent foreign policy of peace that vividly advocates cordial relationship and partnership with nations around the globe ‘China will concentrate its efforts on transforming economic pattern, adjusting economic structure, improving the people's livelihoods and pursuing a path of sustainable development. On its future foreign policy, China will uphold the banner of peace, development and cooperation, implement a strategy of opening up for mutual benefit and win-win situation, and participate in the efforts by the international community to build a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity."
Mr. Bhandary is a Senior Correspondent for Foreign Affairs at the National News Agency of Nepal.