Nepal wants a cordial relationship with India and China and does not believe in playing “games” with it neighbours for short-term political gains, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli told Parliament on Tuesday.
Oli, who returned from his six-day visit to China on Sunday, was briefing Parliament about his recent “positive” visit to Beijing and highlighted the agreements the two countries inked during the trip. “The agreements we’ve reached show our commitment towards realising our common goal of development and prosperity,” Oli said.
China had also expressed its commitment to provide the necessary support, he added.
Oli said his government was keen on ensuring Nepal’s development and prosperity and the only way to do so was by maintaining a cordial relationship with India and China. “We do not play card games with (China or India) for short political gains and we stand with our neighbours in good and bad times,” Oli said.
“For this reason, our foreign and global policies are guided with honest intentions that will not hinge country’s security, sovereignty and world peace,” he said. Oli said Nepal and China had agreed to resume Tatopani entry point by May 2019 while setting up better infrastructures at Rasuwagadi and Kerung.
“The railway connectivity is an important agreement as it will help to speed up development and increase economic activities,” he said.
Both Nepali and Chinese sides have agreed to intensify implementation of the MoU on cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative to enhance connectivity, he said.
“The initiative encompasses vital components such as ports, roads, railways, aviation and communications within the overarching framework of trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network,” he said.
The two sides also agreed to take practical measures to promote cooperation in all fields mentioned in the MoU, according to the 14-point Nepal-China joint statement which was released on the conclusion of Oli’s visit. Oli had held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, following which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to build a strategic railway link connecting Tibet with Kathmandu through the arduous Himalayan terrain.
The new railway line will connect the Gyirong trading port in the city of Xigaze in Tibet with the Nepali capital Kathmandu.
During the visit, both sides agreed to implement the understandings and agreements reached between the two countries during Oli’s visit to China in 2016. China has also agreed to help build necessary infrastructure for storage of petroleum products in Nepal.
China has been building rail, road and air links in the remote Tibet spending billions of dollars. A railway line was put in operation in 2014, linking Tibet’s provincial capital Lhasa with Xigaze.
Xigaze, also known as Shegatse, is the closest Tibetan city to Nepal. Earlier, there were reports in the Chinese official media that the railway line was to be extended till India.