By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Aug 17: The Nepalese government has reiterated its support for the One-China policy following the Chinese government’s pledge to provide USD 118 million in aid for the year 2022, along with announcements of trade concessions on the stalled Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) projects. The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Nepalese foreign minister Narayan Khadka in Qingdao, China, to officially announce the aid last week.
“The two foreign ministers took stock of overall aspects of Nepal-China relations and agreed to promote further cooperation in various sectors, including trade, connectivity, investment, health, tourism, poverty alleviation, agriculture, disaster management, education, culture, and people-to-people exchanges, among others,” the Nepalese foreign ministry said in a statement. In addition, Wang further announced 3 million RMB worth of disaster relief resources and an additional 12 million RMB worth of medical assistance to Nepal.
After the talks, minister Khadka reiterated the country’s unwavering support for the One-China policy and reassured the CCP government that no “anti-China” activity will be allowed in Nepalese territory. The Chinese government had expressed disappointment earlier this year over the Nepalese parliament’s agreement to the US-funded USD 500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation compact.
The statements also said that China would fund the feasibility study of the China-Nepal cross-border railway through the Himalayas via Tibet, which has made experts concerned about the potential damage it could cause to the fragile ecosystem. Keyrung-Kathmandu Railway is part of the trans-Himalayan connectivity network; it was formally agreed between China and Nepal in 2017 when Kathmandu agreed to join the BRI.
The border encroachment allegations on Nepalese territory by China, which Beijing denies, were also discussed during the meetings in China. “Both sides agreed to form a bilateral technical committee to make necessary preparation for the functioning of the existing mechanism of the Nepal-China Joint Boundary Inspection Committee,” the statement said.