Nepal-China ideological symposium ends with accord on ‘high-level visit’
September 25, 2019 06:55 AM NPT
NCP leader Madhav Nepal shakes hands with Song Tao, the chief of the international liaison department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) during the signing of an MoU at the end of the two-day ideological discussion on Xi Jinping Thought, in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Also present are two NCP chairmen -- Prime Minister KP Oli (second right) and Pushpa Kamal Dahal (left). Photo: Dipesh Shrestha/Republica
KATHMANDU, Sept 25: The first-ever ideological debate between Nepal and China has concluded on Tuesday signing a six-point memorandum of understanding amid a function in Kathmandu. The MoU that was signed by Nepal Communist Party’s Foreign Affairs Department chief Madhav Kumar Nepal and Song Tao, International Affairs chief of the Communist Party of China, in the presence of Prime Minister KP Oli and NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
The agreement, according to leader Nepal, includes a high-level visit, exchange of party-to-party experience, visit exchanges of youths and local leaders, promotion of people-to-people relations (intellectuals, individuals, organizations and media) and operation of ideological interactions annually.
Both the parties hope to further enhance their relations in the context of the NCP remaining in strong position in the federal, provincial and local governments.
Although the agreement doesn’t elaborate on ‘high profile visit’ in writing, party leaders privy to the development say the high-level meeting hints at the likely visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Chinese president is expected to visit Nepal next month after a hiatus of 23 years.
As part of making President Xi’s visit to Nepal possible in the course of his visit to India in mid-October, Chinese leader Song had held separate meetings with the PM Oli and Chairman Dahal.
Last year, both President Bidya Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Oli had visited China and expressed their wish to welcome the Chinese president in Nepal. Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi had visited Nepal recently. Leader Wang, according to party insiders, had inquired about the ongoing preparations for President Xi’s visit and possible agreements to be signed during the visit.
To welcome Xi to Nepal after his five-day state visit to India, Nepali authorities have quietly expedited the preparations. President Xi is likely to land in Kathmandu on October 15 after having a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India.
The last Chinese president to visit Nepal was Jiang Zemin in 1996. And there was no other high-profile visit since until Wen Jiabao, the then Chinese premier, came to Nepal in 2012.