Oli aims to get past pacts implemented

Thursday, June 14th, 2018 | | Politics

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will be leaving for China on June 19 on a six-day official visit at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

During the visit, Oli will hold delegation-level bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Li, and also meet senior Chinese leaders. He will also visit Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region of China, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

Oli will also hold a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said a high-level MoFA official. “The PM will hold meetings with three state leaders during the trip, including the president and the premier,” said the official, adding Oli will also meet Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun.

According to officials involved in preparations, the visit will mostly focus on the implementation of agreements signed during Oli’s previous visit to Beijing in 2016, including the landmark Agreement on Transit Transport, giving Nepal access to Chinese ports for its foreign trade.

The two countries will also sign agreements and memorandums of understanding during the visit.

The Cabinet has already approved the Chinese government’s proposal to build two bridges — one that connects Rasuwagadi and Kerung and the other at the Tatopani border point in Sindhupalchowk — with full Chinese financial and technical support.

Another MoU will be signed between National Energy Administration of China and Nepal’s Ministry of Energy on energy cooperation.

The two countries will also sign a pact to set up a ‘dialogue mechanism’ between energy ministries of both countries, and MoU on technology transfer and production capacity building in areas of industrial development, agriculture, science and trade, according to the MoFA official.

Another agreement planned is Protocol to Utilisation of Tibetan Highways for Transport of Nepali Cargo Through Tibet. A Nepali delegation, which is in China to negotiate the protocol, gave finishing touches to the draft agreement today, said the official.

Another MoU is for preparing a Detailed Project Report for the proposed Kerung-Rasuwagadi-Galchhi cross-border electricity transmission line. “However, negotiations are on and draft exchanges are taking place,” said the MoFA official.

Officials said talks would be held not only on the development of the cross-border railway, but also domestic railway lines in Nepal, and some other projects under the Belt and Road Initiative. “Nepal will give a message that it is committed to the Belt and Road Initiative, and wants to go hand in hand with China under this initiative,” said the official.

The two governments will issue a joint statement on June 21.

The entourage of the PM, who will be accompanied by his spouse Radhika Shakya, will include Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun, Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth, Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister Bishnu Rimal, members of Parliament, high-ranking government officials, representatives of the private sector and mediapersons.

Oli will return home on June 24.

Itinerary

June 19: Oli will reach Beijing in the evening. The Embassy of Nepal in Beijing will host a welcome programme in his honour

June 20: Oli will meet members of the Nepali community at the embassy in the morning, following which he will address an event organised by Nepal-China Business Forum, where MoUs between businesses of the two countries will be signed. In the afternoon, Oli will meet Chinese state leaders, or hold delegation-level bilateral talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Oli will then meet AIIB President Jin Liqun.

June 21: Oli will inaugurate ‘Nepal-China Friendship Run’, an event aimed at promoting the Visit Nepal-2020 campaign, in the morning. In the afternoon, he will either meet the Chinese state leaders or hold delegation-level talks with Chinese Premier Li. In the evening, Oli will address the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China.

June 22: Oli will leave for Lhasa, where he will meet the provincial leadership in the evening.

June 23: He will most probably observe various agricultural, industrial and tourism projects.

June 24: Oli will leave for Nepal in the morning.