Nepal and China work on waiving visas for each other

Nepal is contemplating doing away with visa formalities for a visit to China on reciprocal basis,according to high-level sources in the Foreign Ministry.....

Written by Yubaraj Ghimire | Kathmandu | Published:February 28, 2009 2:58 am

Nepal is contemplating doing away with visa formalities for a visit to China on reciprocal basis,according to high-level sources in the Foreign Ministry. The proposal may be formalised when Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal pays an official trip to Beijing sometime next month.

Sources said the issue has figured in meetings between the two sides. “A treaty of peace and friendship may be signed when the Prime Minister visits Beijing either in April or May,” Om Sharma,Press Advisor to the PM said but gave no details about the visa-waiver plan. Dahal,soon after his meeting with Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi today,said he wants his visit to Beijing to be a “milestone” in Nepal-China relations.

Industrialist Rajeshkaji Shrestha,who heads the Nepal-China Chamber of Commerce,mooted the visa-waiver idea.

The Chinese delegation headed by Jieyi is in Kathmandu to finalise details of the Nepal PM’s visit.

In addition to visa-free travel for people of the two countries,the government is set to sign the treaty of friendship as well as extradition with the Chinese on the lines of Nepal’s bilateral arrangements with India. Ostensibly,Liu’s visit — over a week after Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon’s trip — also aims at securing Nepal’s commitment on checking activities of “pro-Tibetan elements” who will mark the 50th year of the Dalai Lama’s escape to India next month.

“Nepal which firmly believes that Tibet is an integral part of China will not allow any activities against China from Nepali territory,” said Dahal,according to his Foreign Affairs advisor Hira Bahadur Thapa. Dahal also appealed to China to come to the rescue of power-starved Nepal and support the construction of 400 MW Narsinghghad hydropower project in Nepal’s Jajarkot district. He also solicited Chinese help to set up special developmental and economic zones.

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