Defense Minister Pokhrel with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Beijing. (Photo courtesy: Dipendra Shrestha, personal secretary to the defense minister)
KATHMANDU, Oct 27: China has agreed to provide an assistance of RMB 150 million to Nepal over a period of five years for the purpose of humanitarian and disaster relief equipment, on Saturday.
Chinese State Councilor Wei Fenghe and Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel signed an agreement to this effect following their bilateral talks in Beijing today, according to a press release issued by the Nepali Embassy in China.
Wei agreed to provide necessary support to Nepal as proposed by his Nepali counterpart. The details of such co-operation would be finalized through mutual consultation between the two sides, according to the press release.
With the latest support, China's defense support has increased by 50%, Defense Secretary Bishnu Lamshal told Republica Online. Last year, China had provided RMB 100 million for the purpose of humanitarian and disaster relief equipment to Nepal Army. China has increased defense assitance to Nepal Army in recent years.
During their bilateral talks, the deputy prime minister highlighted the excellent state of relations between Nepal and the People’s Republic of China.
Pokhrel mentioned that the exchange of high-level visits between the two countries, including that of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in June 2018, have contributed in elevating bilateral relations to new heights by helping enhance trust and confidence at highest political level. He also sought China’s support in establishing Defense University in Nepal, according to the press release.
Pokhrel mentioned the importance of military co-operation in military training, hardware in humanitarian and disaster management, and medical equipment and peace-keeping operations.
On the occasion, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister appreciated Nepal’s one-China policy and support on the Tibet issue, and of China’s willingness to further strengthening co-operation between the armies of the two countries.
Pokhrel, who is on a week-long visit to the northern neighbor, addressed the plenary session on “UN Peacekeeping: Challenges and Cooperation” at the 8th Xiangshan Forum of Defense Ministers on October 26 in Beijing.
In his statement, the minister highlighted the important role of UN peacekeeping operations in keeping the peace, saving lives and promoting human rights, and said that Nepal attaches great importance to peacekeeping operations for promoting world peace and security. Expressing Nepal's appreciation of China’s strong support to UN peacekeeping operations, Pokhrel lauded China's consistent efforts in maintaining international peace and security and strengthening the multilateral system.
Pokhrel met with Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China Gen Xu Qiliang on October 26.
Various matters pertaining to mutual interests, such as bilateral cooperation in military training, disaster management, provision of medical assistance and equipment, and peacekeeping, were discussed during the meeting, according to the embassy.
In the evening of 26 October, the Embassy of Nepal hosted a welcome reception in honor of Defense Minister Pokhrel which was followed by a program to exchange greetings with the Nepali community on the auspicious occasion of Dashain, Tihar, Nepal Sambat and Chhath festivals. The event was attended by more than 300 people from different walks of life of the Nepali community living in China.