KATHMANDU, Oct 10: Nepal and China will hold discussion on the investment modality for the proposed Nepal-China cross-broader railway during the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said on Thursday.
Oli made the remarks during a meeting with former prime ministers and former foreign ministers at Baluwatar on Thursday over Xi's visit to Nepal.
"There will be discussion on the investment modality for Kerung-Kathmandu railway during the visit of Chinese President Xi," Oli said adding that the government will sign bilateral economic cooperation deals with Chinese side keeping in mind the country's national interests.
Nepal and China have already held series of discussions to carry out the feasibility study for the railway project, for which the Chinese side has already assured assistance of Rs 2 billion in grant, it is learnt.
Although the inclusion of a Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network including the Nepal-China cross-border railway in the joint communiqué issued after the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April this year revived the prospect of a Chinese railway line to Nepal, the cross-country railway has remained uncertain over the funding issue.
During Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to Beijing in June last year, the two countries had agreed to set up a Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network with a view to enhancing wide-ranging connectivity including through ports, roads, railways, aviation and telecommunications.
Oli said that the visit would be instrumental to further deepen ties with the northern neighbor.
"Nepal-China relations have always remained good, cordial, friendly and deep-rooted. I believe that the upcoming visit of the Chinese president will take our age-old bilateral ties to a greater height," PM Oli told the former prime ministers and former foreign ministers during the meeting.
Leading a 40-member high-powered delegation, Chinese President Xi will be arriving in Kathmandu on a two-day state visit on Saturday afternoon. After concluding his two-day sojourn to India, the Chinese president is making a stopover in Kathmandu on his way back to home. This is the first visit of Chinese president to Nepal after a gap of 23 years.
PM Oli said that the government has conducted its foreign relations based on national interests, sovereign equality and credibility.
"We are absolutely clear on matters relating to foreign relations based on national interests, sovereign equality and credibility. The incumbent government has got the clearest ever vision on the country's foreign policy," he said.
During the meeting, Former Prime Ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal and Baburam Bhattarai urged the government to make the Chinese President's visit historic.
On the occasion, Deuba, who is also the president of the main opposition Nepali Congress, said that the Chinese president's visit is an important occasion for Nepal. He expressed best wishes for the success of the visit.
Former Prime Minister Bhattarai, who is also the chairman of Samajbadi Party, said that Nepal should try its best to transform itself as a dynamic bridge between China and India. He also urged the government not to sign extradition treaty with Chinese side during the visit of Chinese President Xi.
The participants also suggested the government to sign the bilateral accords with Chinese side keeping in mind the country's national interests.