Girija Prasad Koirala (late)
President Nepali Congress, Ex Nepal PM
(From the pages of history).
On the happy occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, I extend my heartfelt felicitations to its Leaders and my best wishes to its 1.3 billion people.
The People’s Republic of China is a close neighbor of Nepal and a reliable friend which has made remarkable contribution to the development and growth of Nepal. Nepal and China are bound by friendly ties based on mutual goodwill and cooperation from time immemorial.
BP Koirala, the first popularly elected Prime Minister of Nepal, had visited China in March 1960 at the friendly invitation of Premier Zhou En Lai. This visit by Prime Minister B. P Koirala of Nepal had further strengthened Nepal-China relations and promoted goodwill between the two countries. B. P Koirala, during this visit, had called on China’s senior leader Mao Zedong and other several leaders and had discussed with them matters of mutual interest.
Premier Zhou En Lai of China paid an official visit to Nepal in April 1960 at the invitation of Prime Minister B. P Koirala. He had addressed the joint session of Parliament. This visit by the Chinese Premier elevated Nepal- China relations to a new height. The exchange of visits by the two Prime Ministers of Nepal and China had not only facilitated the opening of residential embassies in Beijing and Kathmandu respectively but had also made it possible for border management between the two countries as well as amicable settlement of other important issues of mutual interests. It was during this period that Nepal and China had signed the historic Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1960.
BP Koirala had categorically stated in Nepalese Parliament and on other occasions that Tibet is an autonomous province of China .Nepali Congress has consistently supported this stand taken by BP Koirala. BP, while addressing the 15th session of the UN General Assembly had highlighted the importance of the contribution that China could make in world affairs and pleaded for China’s rightful place in the UN.
In my capacity as Prime Minister, I paid a friendly visit to China in 1992. I have been greatly impressed by the warm and intimate treatment and reception I got from the Government of China and its Leaders .I have cherished the memory of China’s readiness to extend cooperation to Nepal in its all round development and in its larger interest. Accordingly, China has significantly contributed to Nepal’s development over the years.
At the same time, relations at the party level between the Communist Party of China and our own party Nepali Congress have been established. I have visited China several times in my capacity as President of the Nepali Congress at the invitation of the Communist Party of China. During each visit, I have been impressed by the rapid rate at which China has made progress and by its cooperative attitude and feeling towards Nepal. In view of China’s emergence as an economic powerhouse of the world, it is my conviction that China can play an important role in promoting the prosperity of this region and its economic security.
High level delegations from the Communist Party of China have also visited Nepal at the invitation of the Nepali Congress. All these visits form the basis for Nepal-China relations which are enhanced by promoting contacts at the people-to-people level. I respect China as a reliable and friendly neighbor which is ever ready to cooperate in the interest of Nepal and its people. Indeed, the people of Nepal will always remember China as a good neighbor and friend on the basis of what China has done, in various spheres, for us in this country.
Nepal strictly follows ‘One China’ policy. I firmly believe that Nepal- China relations will be further strengthened and will make progress to mutual interest and benefit in the years to come.
PS: Late Girija Prasad Koirala (rest in eternal peace) had written his comments on Nepal-China relations on September 16, 2009 on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the PRC, which has been published in the “Journal of Nepal-China Studies”. We have published this in the larger interest of those scholars who wish to understand Nepal-China relations in its real perspective: Ed.
* Late Koirala was President of Nepali Congress and had assumed the post of Nepal PM several times prior to his sudden demise.