Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has pledged to implement at the earliest the landmark transport and transit agreement signed with China, a move aimed at reducing landlocked country’s total dependence on India. The prime minister said this during his meeting with Chinese Deputy Minister of External Affairs Wang Yajun in Kathmandu Sunday.
Oli said the agreement on transport and transit signed between Nepal and China in during his first stint as the premier in 2016 would be taken to a conclusion soon.
“As Nepal is a landlocked country, we want to increase our access to the sea through this agreement,” the prime minister said, according to officials.
The transit and transportation treaty with China is likely to end New Delhi’s monopoly over the landlocked nation’s trade through Haldia port in Kolkata. It gives Nepal an option to use the next nearest Tianjin port in China that is 3,000 km from the Nepal border. Haldia port is 1,000 km away.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Oli extended an invitation to Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Nepal. “High-level visit is also necessary to further strengthen our relations. We are waiting to welcome the Chinese president and the Chinese prime minister in Nepal,” Prime Minister Oli told the visiting deputy minister.
On the occasion, Chinese Deputy Minister Wang said it was an appropriate time to expand Nepal-China relations adding that China was hurrying to implement the agreements signed between Nepal and China during Oli’s China visit last year.
Wang underlined the need to harmonise the government-to-government and people-to-people relations between the two countries.