KATHMANDU, April 29: China on Monday pledged RMB 1 billion (Rs16.8 billion) grant assistance to Nepal.
The northern neighbour pledged the grant assistance to Nepal under the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation for the implementation of mutually agreed projects in the fields of livelihood improvement, post-disaster reconstruction and infrastructure, according to a press release issued by Nepali Embassy in Beijing.
The agreement to this effect was signed following the delegation-level talks between President Bidya Devi Bhandari and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese Capital on Monday.
The Nepal Government had decided to accept the Chinese grant assistance just few days ahead of President Bhandari's visit to China that began on April 24.
During the meeting between Xi and Bhandari, the two sides exchanged substantive views on further strengthening and consolidating the ties of co-operative friendship and mutually beneficial partnership subsisting between the two countries, according to the embassy.
Extending her congratulations to President Xi for steering the Second Belt and Road Forum to a successful conclusion, President Bhandari expressed the view that the Forum had established the importance of BRI in achieving economic development through connectivity and infrastructure building.
President Bhandari extended a cordial invitation to President Xi to pay a State Visit to Nepal. Expressing his sincere thanks for the invitation, President Xi said that he attaches great importance to visiting the beautiful country Nepal, and that he would pay the visit at a convenient time, according to the press release.
President Xi expressed happiness on President Bhandari’s participation in the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Co-operation and the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019.
Expressing happiness over steadily growing friendly ties between the two countries, President Xi appreciated Nepal’s firm support to One China policy.
Referring to the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, the President conveyed China’s support for the development of infrastructure including cross-border railways.
The other areas that figured during the talks for bilateral cooperation included education, tourism, trade, investment, and cross-border economic zones, among others. He assured China’s support to materialize Nepal’s resolve of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali,’ and to make Visit Nepal Year 2020 a success by encouraging more Chinese tourists to visit Nepal.