Nepal PM Prachanda to visit China on Thursday

Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”” will make his first official visit to China since becoming prime minister last year to participate in the Boao Asia Forum.

world Updated: Mar 22, 2017 21:08 IST
Anil Giri
Anil Giri
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Prime Minister Prachanda,China-Nepal ties,Prachanda to visit China
File photo of Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda“ waving to the media after he was elected the 24th premier in 26 years in August 2016. (Reuters)

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “ Prachanda” will make an official visit to China on Thursday to participate in the Boao Asia Forum and hold talks with President Xi Jinping.

Prachanda will hold several meetings on the sidelines of the Boao Asia Forum in Hainan province, Nepal’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. This will be his first official visit to China after becoming premier last August.

He will meet Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 27. This will be third meeting between the leaders since Xi was elected president in 2013 and they are expected to discuss matters of mutual interest, the foreign ministry said.

The Chinese side has communicated the meeting will be no longer than 20 minutes as the president had to short cut other engagements to meet with Prachanda.

It is unlikely that any pact or understanding will be signed during the visit, Prachanda said a day ahead of the visit.

“We are not going to sign any deal in this visit,” Prachanda told a meeting of senior leaders of his CPN-Maoist Centre party. “My visit will lay the ground for the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal and the objective of my visit is focussed on bringing him to Nepal.”

Foreign minister Prakash Sharan Mahat told a news conference that the two sides will discuss “some crucial bilateral issues”, Nepal’s participation in China’s flagship “One Belt One Road” connectivity initiative, the Nepal- China Transit and Transportation Agreement and expansion of a cross-border power transmission line.

Nepal and China had discussed the “One Belt One Road” venture at length but “we cannot agree on free trade with China as Nepali side is still considering its merits and demerits”, he said.

The Nepalese side had prepared at least five agreements but these would not be signed during Prachanda’s visit “due to some technical reasons”, he added.

These included agreements on a cross-border power transmission line, allowing Chinese companies to conduct detailed project reports for railway lines connect China to Nepal’s southern plains and Pokhara, harnessing Chinese investment in various sectors, establishing cross-border economic zones and enhancing the capacity of the National Planning Commission.

First Published: Mar 22, 2017 18:35 IST