Oli consults with ex-PMs on China visit

Monday, June 18th, 2018 | | Politics

Ahead of his visit to China that begins on Tuesday, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli held consultations with former PMs on Sunday.

PM Oli leaves for a five-day visit to China on Tuesday. Almost all the former PMs consulted advised Oli to sign the Protocol to Transit and Transportation Agreement and some other pacts signed with the northern neighbour during his visit to China in 2016, said Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali.

The former prime ministers also urged Oli to pursue projects and assistance from China so that Nepal can benefit from the giant neighbour’s rapid development. They also advised him to attract Chinese investments into Nepal. Former PMs Sher Bahadur Deuba, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal and Baburam Bhattarai attended the meeting. Bhattarai, the Naya Shakti Nepal coordinator, presented a separate 10-point suggestion to PM Oli.

Bhattarai urged Oli to raise the issues of Lipu-Lekh—the disputed Nepal-India-China tri-junction that the two neighbours agreed to develop as a transit point, opening more border points with China, settling border disputes by swapping land, seeking financial aid under the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank, and getting a grant for building a railway from border town Kerung to Kathmandu.

After the visit, Oli told the former PMs that he would make efforts for taking Nepal-China ties to a new high. FM Gyawali also discussed the visit agenda with former foreign ministers.

The government has approved the draft memorandum of understanding on setting up a mechanism to facilitate China-funded programmes and projects in Nepal. The Cabinet on Sunday authorised the Foreign Ministry to sign MoUs with China, according to Information Minister Gokul Baskota.