KATHMANDU, Jan 3: At a time when the Nepali political parties are divided over whether the country should welcome the concept of 'China India Plus Cooperation' pushed forward by China, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi said that the concept is similar to trilateral cooperation between China, Nepal and India.
Speaking at a press conference at the Chinese Embassy, Ambassador Hou said that the 'China, India Plus Cooperation' model is aimed at creating a win-win situation between China, Nepal and India by enhancing trilateral cooperation in areas like infrastructure development and telecommunications.
"Being the world's largest developing countries, China and India want to play active role in regional and international levels. We want to join hands especially to promote the economy of South Asian countries," she said adding that the 'China, India Plus Cooperation' model has already started from Afghanistan.
Stating that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the idea of forging 'China, India Plus Cooperation' model on several occasions, she said that the participating countries will have their equal say. "We have successfully started this cooperation model from Afghanistan," she said.
"China, India Plus cooperation means trilateral cooperation. It does not mean that China and India will be driving force and another country will have a lesser role. All three will have equal role," she said.
In another context, Ambassador Hou said that the Government of Nepal will make its decision over the fate of US MCC grant on its own feet. "We noticed from the media that political parties, government and parliament are now discussing the ratification of MCC. Nepal is a LDC country and it needs international support and assistance not only from China actually from the international community," she said adding, "We welcome any kind of assistance to Nepal if it is in the sense of economic cooperation. We hope that the Nepali side can decide on its own feet, not being intervened by other forces." She said that all the foreign economic cooperation to Nepal should serve the national interests of Nepal.
Responding to a media query related to the recent arrest of 122 Chinese nationals on the charge of illegal stay, the ambassador said that the investigation against those Chinese is underway in Nepal.
"Those Chinese nationals were found to be engaged in cybercrimes here in Nepal and Chinese people from mainland China also suffered by their activities. That's why the Chinese side shared some information with the Nepali side," she said.
The ambassador said that it is up to the Nepali side whether to deport them or not. "This belongs to the Nepali side. It comes under the sovereignty of Nepal. Almost 120 Chinese nationals are right now under the custody of Nepali police. Once the investigation is done, we can share something with the media," she said. The ambassador said that her country protects the legal rights of Chinese nationals abroad but cannot protect those who work illegally in foreign countries.
Highlighting the major bilateral activities between China and Nepal in the year 2019, Ambassador Hou said that the relations blossomed in an all-round way. "Bilateral relations have achieved rapid development in the fields of politics, economy, and trade and people-to-people exchange," she said.
According to statistics provided by the ambassador, China's investment flow in Nepal in Fiscal Year 2018-19 was 114 million US dollars, making it the largest investor in Nepal for four consecutive fiscal years.
"In the first 10 months of 2019, the trade volume between China and Nepal reached 1.2 billion US dollars, an increase of 36.1% year-on-year, of which Nepal's export to China increased by 58.1%," she said.
On the occasion, the ambassador also briefed media regarding the situation in China's Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Without taking the name of the United States, she said that some western countries don’t want to see a prosperous China thereby intervening in China's internal affairs.
"They are criticizing China on issues related to Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Recently, the continuing violent crimes in Hong Kong have challenged the bottom line of the "one country, two systems" principle, and have pushed the city to an extremely dangerous situation," she said.