【New Delhi】Chinese President Xi Jinping on August 1 said he wants to push for a continued advancement of ties with Nepal amidst Beijing's sustained forays to shore up pro-China Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's grip on power in the backdrop of intra-party feud in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
In an exchange of congratulatory messages with his Nepalese counterpart Bidhya Devi Bhandari on the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, Xi asserted that he was ready to work to bring greater benefits to the two peoples of the two neighbouring countries.
"Highlighting the deep-rooted cordial friendship since ages, the Prime Minister (Oli) underlined that Nepal has consistently maintained the 'One China Policy' and China has always respected Nepal's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence," Nepal's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
China's political profile in Nepal has been on the rise in the recent years with billions of dollars of investments under Beijing's multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including the building of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network.
Besides the investments, China's ambassador to Kathmandu Hou Yanqi has made open efforts to garner support for Oli, who faced a massive rebellion in his party headed by co-chair of the ruling NCP Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda. Hou met Dahal and other leaders seeking their backing for Oli but the rebellion against the prime minister has not subsided.
China attaches high importance to Oli continuing in power as during his brief tenure in 2016, he widened China-Nepal ties by signing the transit trade treaty with Beijing to reduce the dependence of his land-locked country on India.
Nepal's ambassador to China Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said that the "cooperation under the BRI is of great significance for both Nepal and China. The construction of tunnels from Jilong in Tibet to Kathmandu, development of the three North-South corridors in Nepal-Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali - and the Nepal-China electric power cooperation plan are some of the landmark projects in the areas of infrastructure and industry that were agreed to be initiated in Nepal during President Xi's state visit to Nepal" last year, he said.
Oli and Prachanda factions are currently engaged in holding internal consultations, though the date for the formal meeting of the powerful Standing Committee is yet to be fixed.
Want to push for continued advancement of China-Nepal ties: President Xi Jinping
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