China doles out $19.8 mn aid to Nepal | world | Hindustan Times
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China doles out $19.8 mn aid to Nepal

world Updated: Mar 25, 2011 02:44 IST
Utpal Parashar

In a sign of growing proximity between both nations, China on Wednesday committed to provide neighbouring Nepal with NRs 1.42 billion (US $ 19.8 million) in military aid.

Two agreements to this effect were signed by Nepal Army chief General Chatraman Singh Gurung and visiting Chinese Army chief General Chen Bingde here.

This is the biggest amount doled out by Nepal's northern neighbour as military assistance. China had earlier provided US $ 2.6 million in non-lethal military aid and communication logistics worth US $ 3 million.

Bingde who is leading a high level 15-member delegation arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday afternoon on a three day visit at the invitation of his Nepali counterpart.

Bingde's trip, the highest level military visit from China to Nepal in more than a decade, is expected to boost ties between both armies and address sensitive issues like handling of Tibetan refugees.

The latest Chinese largesse will include engineering equipment including heavy construction vehicles, medical equipment to NA's military hospital in Kathmandu and logistics for rescue operations.

In a statement Bingde stated besides benefiting both sides, increased cooperation between the two nations would help towards “maintenance of peace, stability and development in the region.”

During his stay, Bingde would also hold meetings with President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal and Defence Minister Bishnu Poudel.

India is the biggest provider of military assistance to Nepal, but it stopped supplying lethal military aid since former king Gyanendra Shah's royal takeover in 2005.

Since signing of the peace deal in 2006 after a 10 year civil war, Nepal has sought weapons for training purposes. Though unofficial talks are on between both nations, supplies have not resumed.