Nepal for joint military exercise with focus on disaster mgmt

Published On: March 24, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

China pledges Rs 300 million aid to Nepal Army
KATHMANDU, March 24: Nepal has proposed  joint military exercises between the Nepal Army and China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) with the focus on disaster management and enhancing the skills of both militaries. 

At a meeting with visiting Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan at the Defense Ministry, Singha Durbar on Thursday, his Nepali counterpart Bal Krishna Khand proposed that the joint exercise  focus on disaster management, mainly in the mountain regions of Nepal. 

Joint military exercises between Nepal and China are expected to be held at the end of 2017. 

“We have been holding joint military exercises mainly for disaster management, with India, the US and UK  also since long,” said Khand. “There are risks of glacial lake outburst flooding in the northern mountains. Talks are underway since long for joint military exercises for disaster and security management  focusing on cooperation between the armies of Nepal  and China,”  Khand said. 

According to him, the Chinese side is ready for the exercises. Asked for a date, the minister said, “Both sides  are doing the homework  and the meeting has not finalized a date.” China has been stressing joint military exercises with the Nepal Army for the first time. 

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang pledged help with logistics, equipment and training  for the Nepal Army for participation in  United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions, disaster response and enhancing security along the Nepal-China border. 

“Defense Minister Chang pledged to provide logistics and equipment support required by the Nepal Army  during natural disasters, development construction and advanced training for UN peacekeeping duty,” Khand told media after the meeting.  

At the hour-long meeting, the two defense ministers also discussed Nepal's commitment to the 'One-China Policy' and its contribution in  security along Nepal-China border, reads a statement issued by the Defense Ministry afterward. 

Meanwhile, Chinese Defense Minister Chang pledged  assistance of 200 million yuan (Rs 300 million) to the Nepal Army for various proposes. At a meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal  on Thursday,  Chang pledged additional support to the Nepal Army, said Dahal's foreign affairs advisor Rishi Adhikari. “China pledged another 100 million Yuan during this visit in addition to 100 million Yuan  pledged earlier,” said Adhikari. 

Dahal and Chang also discussed enhancing future cooperation between the Nepal Army and China's PLA, at the meeting held at Dahal's official residence at Baluwatar. 

At the meeting  held an hour after Chang's arrival in Kathmandu, Chang said that the visit to China by  Prime Minister Dahal will take  relations between the two neighboring countries to a new height, said Adhikari. 
Dahal left for a week-long visit to China Thursday evening. He is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, other political leaders and investors. 
The Chinese defense minister arrived in Kathmandu for a three-day visit Thursday afternoon at the invitation of his Nepali counterpart. This visit by a Chinese defense minister comes after a gap of 16 years. Defense Minister Khand welcomed him at Tribhuvan International Airport.

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