CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli and Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Kamal Thapa among others at the inaugural session of China Nepal Think Tank Conference 2017 at Hotel Annapurna in Kathmandu on Tuesday. The conference will conclude Wednesday.
KATHMANDU, Jan 18: Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa has criticized the current government for 'failing to expedite the implementation of various agreements reached with China' during the premiership of KP Sharma Oli.
Addressing the opening ceremony of a two-day China-Nepal Think Tank Conference in Kathmandu on Tuesday, Former Minister Thapa said it is high time Nepal further deepened relations with China, given the huge opportunities that China's miraculous economic success could offer to Nepal. “This was what we exactly tried to do during the premiership of K P Oli in which I was privileged to serve as foreign minister. What we tried to do was in the interests of Nepal,” he further said.
Oli, the then prime minister, had signed 10 different bilateral agreements dealing with free trade, transport, connectivity, financial cooperation and transit facility through China during his visit to the northern neighbor in March last year. These agreements were aimed at breaking Nepal's total dependence on India.
Thapa lamented that the current government failed to expedite the agreements reached with China by their government. “The agreements we reached with China were not aimed against any particular country. That was in the overall interests of the country. This is the only way we can help make Nepal prosperous,” said Thapa, while urging the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government to expedite the implementation of those deals.
Thapa, who is also the chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, said Nepal should take into consideration the development taking place in the neighborhood and adopt appropriate foreign policy that best serves the interests of the country. “Our priority should be toward expanding connectivity with the northern neighbor. In the changed context, transition treaty with China should be a priority,” he said, while explaining the importance of becoming a part of China's One Belt, One Road and Silk Road initiative.
Speaking on the occasion, Nepali Congress (NC) CWC members Guru Raj Ghimire and Chief Whip of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal Dr Shivaji Yadav appreciated China's policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. They also argued that the relations between Nepal and China had reached to a new high following the visit of then Prime Minister Oli last year.
However, Oli, who was the chief guest of the inaugural session of the conference, did not speak much about the agreements reached with China during his premiership. While arguing that Nepal always adheres to One-China policy, Oli said that the One Belt One Road initiative launched by China is very much beneficial to Nepal in its pursuit for development and enhanced connectivity with the northern neighbor.
Oli, who is the chairman of the main opposition party CPN-UML, said the promulgation of the new constitution last year marks a major achievement in the history of Nepal. “We will have to hold three tiers of elections by January 2018. Failure to do so will create constitutional crisis. We will avoid such crisis and implement the constitution,” he said.
The two-day think tank conference organized by the Kathmandu bureau of the Xinhua News Agency and Nepal Study Center at Hebei University of Economics and Business in China draws experts and politicians from both Nepal and China. The participants will dwell on various themes to explore ways to further strengthen cooperation between the Chinese and Nepalese Think Tanks Institutions and enhance bilateral relations between Nepal and China.