Photo Caption: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in the western Indian state of Goa, Oct. 15, 2016. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
GOA, India — Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Saturday that his country is ready to align development strategies with Nepal and hopes to build the two neighbors into a community of shared destiny.
“China and Nepal are close neighbors linked by mountains and rivers,” Xi said in a meeting in the western Indian state of Goa with Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on the sidelines of the eighth summit of the emerging-market bloc of BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Since the two countries established diplomatic ties more than half a century ago, China-Nepal relations have withstood the vicissitude of the international situation and maintained sound and stable development, Xi said.
China, he added, attaches great importance to developing relations with Nepal and is willing to work with Nepal to deepen practical cooperation.
He called on the two countries to strengthen high-level contacts and political communication, and enhance mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.
He also called for concerted efforts to carry out the consensuses the two sides have reached on beefing up cooperation on connectivity, free trade and energy and continue to push forward cooperation in their pursuit of development.
China is ready to support Nepal in its post-earthquake reconstruction, especially in restoring infrastructure, people’s well-being and historical relics, he said.
China, he added, encourages its reputable businesses to invest in Nepal and take part in the construction of special economic zones and industrial parks in Nepal.
He also urged the two sides to strengthen cooperation in agricultural industrialization, water conservation, irrigation and hydropower generation.
On people-to-people exchanges, the president said the two sides should increase exchanges and cooperation in such areas as tourism, education, culture, youth, media and local affairs.
He also stressed the importance of maintaining coordination within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
For his part, Dahal said the Nepal-China friendship is time-honored and unbreakable, for it is established on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and features mutual respect and trust.
Nepal highly appreciates the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in China’s neighborhood diplomacy as well as China’s support for its peace process, post-earthquake reconstruction and national development, he said.
Nepal views China as a reliable development partner and is ready to develop a more comprehensive partnership with China, he added.
Dahal also conveyed Nepal’s willingness to participate in connectivity construction within the frameworks of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Moreover, Nepal is ready to enhance coordination with China within international and regional multilateral organizations, added the prime minister.
Nepal is a member of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), a regional mechanism which is aimed at connecting South Asian and Southeast Asian countries and also groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
On the margins of their summit in Goa, Xi and other BRICS leaders will hold dialogues with their BIMSTEC counterparts.