China to support poll, invest in hydropower, tourism

While appreciating Nepal´s proactive measures to contain ´anti-China´ activities and its firm commitment to a one-China policy, China has responded positively to Nepal´s request for investment in hydropower and tourism development in Nepal.

During a bilateral meeting held between visiting Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Madhav Prasad Ghimire on Monday evening, China also pledged support for the fresh Constituent Assembly elections slated for November 19.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Arjun Bahadur Thapa, who was present at the meeting, said Yang appreciated the one-China policy and security cooperation that Nepal has extended, especially in regards to curbing untoward incidents along the Nepal-China border. “Yang said that the government of China welcomes Nepal´s preparations to hold elections and also expressed readiness to support the constitution-drafting process in the near future,” Thapa said after the meeting.

Welcoming the top Chinese dignitaries, Minister Ghimire thanked the Chinese government for continued support for Nepal´s socio-economic development and also asked China to pump in additional investment in hydropower and tourism development.

Ghimire also pointed out the need to increase air and railway connectivity between the two countries to further consolidate the cordial relations subsisting between the two countries.

During the meeting, the Nepal side sought financial assistance for some development projects including the West Seti Project and Ring Road expansion. Spokesperson Thapa said Yang has assured that he would take up these matters with the appropriate authorities in China.
Yang, who arrived in Kathmandu leading an 18-member delegation Monday afternoon, is scheduled to hold a meeting with Chairman of Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi at the latter´s office at Singha Durbar, Tuesday morning.

Yang´s delegation includes vice ministers for foreign affairs, commerce and public security and other senior Chinese government officials.
The meeting with Chairman Regmi will be followed by the signing of a bilateral framework agreement under which an exchange of letters will take place for the construction of a well-equipped Armed Police Force Training Academy at Matatirtha, Kathmandu and electoral support for the Election Commission. China is providing RMB 10 million as election support and a grant of Rs 3.06 billion for the construction of the APF Academy.

Analysts in Kathmandu see China´s support for the construction of well-equipped APF Training Academy as a move to win the goodwill of Nepal´s security agencies vis a vis Free Tibet activists in Nepal.

The government on Monday exercised extra caution while escorting in Yang, with a thick police presence on either side of the road from Tribhuvan International Airport to the hotel and the venue of the bilateral meeting.

Separately, Yang will attend the inaugural ceremony of the Kathmandu Ring Road Renovation Project at Hotel Soaltee later in the afternoon. The Nepal side had requested China for the improvement of the 27-kilometer Ring Road.

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Yang is also scheduled to visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square in the morning and pay a courtesy call on Acting President Paramananda Jha at the latter´s office at Bahadur Bhawan in the afternoon.He will fly back to China later in the evening.

Yang last visited Nepal in 2008 in his capacity as then Chinese foreign minister.He is the highest-level foreign dignitary visiting Nepal since the formation of the Regmi-led poll government on March 14.
source: republica-24 June, 2013

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