Sino-Nepali relations in a new era for common prosperity

China Plus Published: 2019-10-14 17:29:50
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Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language “Commentaries on International Affairs.”

President Xi Jinping’s just-concluded visit to Nepal is the first state visit to the Himalayan country by a Chinese president in over two decades. The two countries agreed to upgrade their relationship to a Strategic Partnership of Cooperation Featuring Ever-Lasting Friendship for Development and Prosperity, providing broader perspectives for cooperation.

Over 1,600 years ago, eminent monks from both countries worked together to interpret Buddhist Classics. During the Tang Dynasty 1,400 years ago, Nepali Princess Bhrikuti was married to Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, while the Chinese monk Huen Tsang visited Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha. And in the 13th century, Nepali architect Araniko led the building of the White Stupa at the Miaoying Temple in Beijing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli in Kathmandu, Nepal, Oct. 13, 2019. [Photo: Xinhua/Li Xueren]

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli in Kathmandu, Nepal, Oct. 13, 2019. [Photo: Xinhua/Li Xueren]

The friendship and cooperation between China and Nepal has been carried forward and expanded to cover more areas. Last year, bilateral trade volume reached 1.1 billion U.S. dollars, and China’s investment in Nepal exceeded 300 million U.S. dollars. As an important partner in promoting Belt and Road cooperation in South Asia, Nepal’s decision to integrate its national development strategy with the Belt and Road Initiative will help the country achieve its “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalis” vision. Nepal, a country rich in tourism resources, is the first South Asian country to be designated an approved destination for Chinese tourists. Last year, 150,000 Chinese people traveled in Nepal. As Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli said, China’s development and prosperity will bring important opportunities for Nepal. In the future, China's investment in infrastructure will help Nepal develop its economy and improve people's livelihoods. The upcoming second China International Import Expo in Shanghai is undoubtedly a new platform for the export of Nepal's products to China.

On the political side, Sino-Nepali mutual trust will become more consolidated as both sides pledged to support each other on issues of core interests. During their meeting, President Xi said China will continue to support Nepal in maintaining its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also stressed that "anyone attempting separatist activities in any part of China will be crushed,” and the Chinese people will quell any external force backing such attempts as well. Prime Minister Oli stated that his country will never allow any force to use its territory for separatist activities against China. These promises laid a solid political foundation for both sides to connect their development strategies in various fields such as economy, humanities and people's livelihoods, share development experience, and carry out pragmatic cooperation.

The World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara, Nepal. [File photo: IC]

The World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara, Nepal. [File photo: IC]

The joint statement and the signing of a slew of agreements for cooperation in such fields as connectivity, trade and investment and border management demonstrate both sides’ determination in building a comprehensive cooperation pattern. Detailed plans include speeding up the enhancement of connectivity by upgrading a cross-border highway, launching a feasibility study for a cross-border railway, opening more border crossings and direct flights, strengthening communication cooperation, and accelerating the building of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network. The two countries also pledged to reinforce collaboration in law enforcement, and jointly fight terrorism and transnational crimes to safeguard common security.

Next year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Nepali diplomatic relations. Standing at a new starting point, China and Nepal, as good friends sharing mutual respect and trust, as good partners for mutually beneficial cooperation, as good neighbors benefiting from people-to-people exchanges, and as good brothers who always stand alongside each other, are expected to promote the friendship across the Himalayas to a new height through enhanced political mutual trust, upgraded connectivity and the building of a community of shared future for both nations.

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LU Xiankun Professor LU Xiankun is Managing Director of LEDECO Geneva and Associate Partner of IDEAS Centre Geneva. He is Emeritus Professor of China Institute for WTO Studies of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Wuhan University (WHU) of China and visiting professor or senior research fellow of some other universities and think tanks in China and Europe. He also sits in management of some international business associations and companies, including as Senior Vice President of Shenzhen UEB Technology LTD., a leading e-commerce company of China. Previously, Mr. LU was senior official of Chinese Ministry of Commerce and senior diplomat posted in Europe, including in Geneva as Counsellor and Head of Division of the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO and in Brussels as Commercial Secretary of the Permanent Mission of China to the EU. Benjamin Cavender Benjamin Cavender is a Shanghai based consultant with more than 11 years of experience helping companies understand consumer behavior and develop go to market strategies for China. He is a frequent speaker on economic and consumer trends in China and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Channel News Asia. Sara Hsu Sara Hsu is an associate professor from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a regular commentator on Chinese economy. Xu Qinduo Xu Qinduo is CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the United States. He works as the producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show on current affairs. Mr. Xu contributes regularly to English-language newspapers including Shenzhen Daily and Global Times as well as Chinese-language radio and TV services. Lin Shaowen A radio person, Mr. Lin Shaowen is strongly interested in international relations and Chinese politics. As China is quite often misunderstood in the rest of the world, he feels the need to better present the true picture of the country, the policies and meanings. So he talks a lot and is often seen debating. Then friends find a critical Lin Shaowen criticizing and criticized. George N. Tzogopoulos Dr George N. Tzogopoulos is an expert in media and politics/international relations as well as Chinese affairs. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Européenne (CIFE) and Visiting Lecturer at the European Institute affiliated with it and is teaching international relations at the Department of Law of the Democritus University of Thrace. George is the author of two books: US Foreign Policy in the European Media: Framing the Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism (IB TAURIS) and The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press (Ashgate) as well as the founder of, an institutional partner of CRI Greek. David Morris David Morris is the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commissioner in China, a former Australian diplomat and senior political adviser. Harvey Dzodin After a distinguished career in the US government and American media Dr. Harvey Dzodin is now a Beijing-based freelance columnist for several media outlets. While living in Beijing, he has published over 200 columns with an emphasis on arts, culture and the Belt & Road initiative. He is also a sought-after speaker and advisor in China and abroad. He currently serves as Nonresident Research Fellow of the think tank Center for China and Globalization and Senior Advisor of Tsinghua University National Image Research Center specializing in city branding. Dr. Dzodin was a political appointee of President Jimmy Carter and served as lawyer to a presidential commission. Upon the nomination of the White House and the US State Department he served at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. He was Director and Vice President of the ABC Television in New York for more than two decades.