Belt and Road Initiative is not a military alliance: Dahal (with video)
September 15, 2019 06:37 PM NPT
By: Bipana Thapa
Video courtesy: Dahal's secretariat
KATHMANDU, Sept 15: Co-chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is purely an economic cooperation initiative, not a military alliance.
Speaking at a seminar titled "BRI Dialogue" on Sunday; Dahal said "BRI is not a military alliance. Rather, it seeks to promote mutual cooperation between various countries that are part of it."
Dahal, who is also the former prime minister, stressed the need to finalize the projects to be constructed under the Belt and Road Initiative in Nepal.
"We should not delay in finalizing the projects under the BRI. I think the time has to come to speed up the projects as per our needs," he viewed. Dahal said that BRI will contribute to Nepal's socio-economic development.
Stating that the BRI is primarily about collective efforts of the various countries to achieve economic development by enhancing rail-road and maritime connectivity, he said that many countries have already started getting benefits from the BRI by executing projects under the BRI.
"Some countries have also expressed some reservations in the biggest ever project of the 21st century. But least developed countries like us have fully supported the BRI," Dahal said.
He hoped that Nepal can also reap benefits from the BRI. Dahal said that Nepal decided to join the Belt and Road Initiative when he became the prime minister of the country second time in 2017 with the hope that it would contribute to the economic development.
Dahal said that those countries that are part of the BRI can identify projects based on their national priorities and interests.
Leader Dahal said that Nepal wants to have good ties with both the neighbors. "Nepal wants to reap benefit from the economic rise of China and India," he said.
"I had held discussions with the top leadership of both the neighboring countries about forging trilateral cooperation between China, Nepal, and India during my second term as the prime minister," he said. He went on to say that Chinese leadership was totally supportive of his idea of forging a trilateral partnership between China, Nepal, and India, while the Indian side was also not totally negative for the same.