KATHMANDU, March 30: Brushing asides speculations that China wants Nepal to be fully tilted toward it, China has said that it supports friendly ties between India and Nepal.
While lauding the remarks of Prime Minister KP Oli about Nepal maintaining an independent foreign policy, China also said that New Delhi, Kathmandu and Beijing are important neighbors to each other and that they can work together for common development.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks during a regular press briefing organized at his office in Beijing on Thursday. "We commend the Nepali government's commitment toward independent foreign policy. We also support Nepal developing friendly and positive relations with its neighbors," spokesperson Lu Kang said.
Spokesperson Lu also expressed hope that the three countries can work together to achieve common development in the region. "China, Nepal and India are important neighbors to each other. We hope these three could work together, have some sound interactions and achieve common development," he further said.
In his first briefing to Kathmandu-based diplomats on Tuesday after assuming his office, Prime Minister Oli had said that independent foreign policy and balanced conduct of relations would be the hallmarks of Nepal's external engagements. "As the people of a country that was never under the control of any external power, we hold, more than anything else, the principles of sovereignty, independence and non-interference close to our heart," the prime minister had said.
Prime Minister Oli also mentioned that Nepal wants amity with all and enmity with none in its conduct of foreign policy. The remarks from Prime Minister Oli came in the wake of analysts deeming the present establishment in Nepal to be pro-Beijing -- something that has drawn concern of New Delhi.
Nepal has signed with China to be a part of Beijing's multi-billion dollar infrastructure project called Belt and Road Initiative, which is opposed by India as the route passes through disputed Kashmir. New Delhi has also found its discomfort in growing Chinese aid and investment in Nepal in recent years.