KATHMANDU, Dec 12: A three-member delegation led by Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi reached Beijing on Wednesday to participate in the twelfth meeting of the Joint Consultation Mechanism between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Nepal and China.
The meeting of the twelfth Joint Consultation Mechanism will be held in Beijing, on Thursday. Bairagi will lead the Nepalese side while Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Kong Xuanyou will lead the Chinese delegation during the meeting.
During the one-day meeting, the two sides will be reviewing the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation including exchange of high level visits, the foreign secretary told Republica Online before leaving for Beijing.
“We will also discuss on expedite China-assisted development projects in Nepal,” he said adding that the two countries are committed to intensify cooperation under the Belt and Road framework.
Foreign Secretary Bairagi is likely to call on Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, sources said.
Nepal has yet to identify and propose concrete projects under the BRI framework even one and half years after the signing of the MoU on the Belt and Road cooperation with China. Since then, China has been asking Nepal to propose specific projects that could be taken forward under the BRI.
Announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the BRI refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting countries along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
The meeting will dwell on ways to further expand bilateral cooperation in the areas of cross-border rail and road connectivity, infrastructure development, diversification of Nepal’s trade, promotion of investment and tourism, officials said.
Officials said that the Nepali side will emphasize the need of early resumption of Tatopani-Zhangmu border point that has remained close since the 2015 devastating earthquakes.
The 11th meeting of the Joint Consultation Mechanism was held in Kathmandu in June 2017.
Nepal and China had established the Joint Consultation Mechanism in 1996 between the two foreign ministries to review and suggest measures to expedite China-assisted bilateral projects in Nepal.