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Wang Yi Puts Forward Nine Major Fields and Three Aspects of Support for China-Nepal Practical Cooperation

On December 26, 2014, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey of Nepal in Kathmandu.

Wang Yi said that since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship 60 years ago, China and Nepal have always treated each other as equals and respected and supported each other, which has set a good example of friendly relations between big and small neighboring countries. At the turn of the new century, China and Nepal established the comprehensive cooperative partnership featuring ever-lasting friendship. China appreciates Nepal for its firm and precious support on Tibet-related and other issues concerning China's core interests.

Pandey said that Nepal and China are geographically adjacent to each other, enjoy intimate people-to-people relations, and have developed increasingly firmer bilateral relations. China's peaceful development achievements have provided great inspiration to the countries in the region. Nepal appreciates China's long-standing and great help to Nepal in its economic and social development. Nepal resolutely pursues the "One China" policy and will not allow any forces to engage in anti-China activities in Nepal.

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping has proposed to build a new type of international relations centering on win-win cooperation, build a peripheral community of common destiny, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and connectivity with neighboring countries. Nepal is an important neighbor of China and one of the priorities of China in strengthening the peripheral diplomacy as well. China and Nepal should be good friends with mutual trust and mutual support as well as good partners seeking common development and common prosperity. China is willing to make joint efforts with Nepal to promote closer connection of the development strategies of the two countries and deepen practical cooperation in various fields so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.

Wang Yi said that China and Nepal should maintain the momentum of high-level mutual visits, strengthen exchanges of experience in governance and administration of state affairs between the political parties, and jointly well commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relationship.

Wang Yi said that China and Nepal should expand bilateral practical cooperation in nine major fields.

I. Trade. Put into practice the zero-tariff treatment offered by China to Nepalese products under 97 percent of tariff headings. Negotiate and sign the agreement on the bilateral free trade area to facilitate China's import from Nepal as well as bring more quality and inexpensive Chinese goods to the people of Nepal.

II. Investment. China is willing to help Nepal carry out the preliminary planning of special economic zones and encourage competent Chinese enterprises to invest in Nepal and establish industrial parks to help Nepal improve its level of industrialization and strengthen its capacity of autonomous development.

III. Agriculture. China is willing to work with Nepal to launch the construction of agricultural science and technology demonstration gardens and discuss the cooperation in such fields as rice plant, animal husbandry and organic agricultural products.

IV. Infrastructure. China encourages Chinese enterprises to actively participate in Nepal's construction of infrastructure such as hydropower stations, airports and highways so as to help Nepal strengthen its development foundation.

V. Science and technology. China is willing to launch science and technology joint laboratories with Nepal and carry out joint research in such fields as climate change and environment to provide momentum for Nepal's development.

VI. Connectivity. The two sides should make full use of the Araniko Highway and the Syabrubensi-Rasuwagadi Highway to ensure that the two major thoroughfares between China and Nepal are clear. The two sides should also open up more flight routes based on the increase in the passenger volume. China is ready to discuss and carry out preliminary researches with Nepal at an appropriate time on the extension of the railway from Xigazê of Tibet to Nepal.

VII. Tourism. China will continue to encourage Chinese citizens to travel in Nepal, and welcomes the Nepalese people to make pilgrimages to sacred mountains and lakes in Tibet.

VIII. People-to-people and cultural engagement. China is willing to set up Chinese cultural centers in Nepal and invite 100 Nepalese youths to China to deepen the exchanges of Confucius Institutes.

IX. Security and law enforcement. Enhance cooperation in defense, security and law enforcement, and crack down on illegal border crossings and cross-border crimes, so as to safeguard common security.

In order to achieve the above-mentioned cooperation, China and Nepal need to create and make full use of three aspects of "support". First, financial support. In addition to bilateral assistance, China welcomes Nepal's active participation in the "Belt and Road" construction, utilization of such funds as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund to finance its own projects, and active utilization of preferential loans proposed in China's initiative for South Asia cooperation. Second, talent support. China is willing to increase training of talents in all circles for Nepal, will provide 500 trainee positions for Nepal next year, and will offer a larger number of scholarships for Nepal under the framework of "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence Scholarship of Excellence". Third, local support. China will support Tibet and other provinces and autonomous regions in bringing geographic advantages into play and conduct more cooperation and exchanges with Nepal.

Pandey expressed that the initiative on the practical cooperation between Nepal and China proposed by Foreign Minister Wang Yi fully reveals China's sincerity in assisting Nepal's development, which Nepal appreciates a lot, and firms Nepal's confidence in getting out of the list of the least developed countries by 2022. Nepal is willing to comprehensively enhance cooperation with China in such fields as economy and trade, agriculture, science and technology, connectivity, and security and law enforcement, as well as to actively participate in the "Belt and Road" construction, the AIIB and the Silk Road Fund so as to benefit the Nepalese citizens.

Wang Yi said that China is willing to keep supporting the progress of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as an Observer and devote itself to enhancing the level of cooperation with the SAARC. China hopes that Nepal, as the rotating presidency of the SAARC, continues to play a constructive role in this regard. China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Nepal on major global issues including the UN reform, sustainable development and climate change.

Pandey appreciated China's great support to the construction of the SAARC and expressed his hope that China can further enhance cooperation with the SAARC. Pandey said that Nepal is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in the fields including UN affairs and coping with climate change.

On the same day, Wang Yi attended the handover ceremony of the medical apparatus and instruments supplied by China to Nepal's civil servant hospital as well as the opening ceremony of the construction of the Armed Police Academy of Nepal aided by China.

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