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China to give $1 mn as aid to flood-hit Nepal, both sides sign three agreements

China has said it will provide $1 million as humanitarian aid to flood-hit Nepal even as the two sides three major agreements worth billions of dollars on economic cooperation and investments.

world Updated: Aug 15, 2017 21:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
China-Nepal relations,Chinese aid of $1 million for Nepal,Floods in Nepal
Nepalese police officers clean their office at Tilathi village in Saptari district, 450 km southeast of Kathmandu, on August 15, 2017. At least 221 people have died and more than 1.5 million have been displaced by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh, officials said. (AFP)

China announced on Tuesday it will provide $1 million as humanitarian assistance to flood-hit Nepal even as the two countries signed three agreements for projects worth billions of dollars.

The agreements, which related to economic and technological cooperation, aid for an oil and gas resources survey project and a framework agreement on promotion of investment, were signed after talks between Nepal’s deputy prime ministers Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and Krishna Bahadur Mahara and visiting Chinese vice premier Wang Yang.

Wang announced the aid during a meeting he jointly chaired with Gachhadar, said a statement from the foreign ministry. He also expressed his condolences and sympathies for the victims of the floods and other natural disasters in Nepal.

More than 110 people have been killed by floods and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains across Nepal. Tens of thousands have also been displaced.

According to the agreements, China will provide 1 billion Yuan (Nepalese Rs 16 billion) for the repair and reconstruction of several structures, including the Kodari Highway that was shut down following the 2015 earthquake.

Another sum of Rs 2 billion will be spent on a feasibility study on natural gas and petroleum resources in the mountainous regions and the plains of the Terai.

The framework agreement on promotion of investment and economic cooperation is another key agreement regarding Chinese investment and cooperation in different sectors.

According to the foreign ministry’s statement, the two sides held substantive discussions on enhancing cooperation in trade, tourism, investment, infrastructure development, energy, cross-border connectivity and people-to-people contacts.

In the context of the Chinese government’s announcement designating 2017 as the Nepal Tourism Promotion Year in China, both sides agreed to cooperate in promoting tourism. The two sides also agreed to enhance facilities at border ports.

They also agreed to hold regular meetings of established bilateral mechanisms, including the joint economic and trade committee.

Wang arrived in Kathmandu on Monday for a four-day visit and will meet Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday. His visit assumes significance as it comes ahead of Deuba’s visit to India later this month.

Media reports in Kathmandu said Beijing wants Kathmandu to persist with a neutral position on the Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops. China also does not want the matter to figure during Deuba’s visit to India, the reports said.

Wang conveyed a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepalese leaders about strengthening bilateral ties and supporting cooperation in various areas.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 20:41 IST