'China positive to Nepal's request for free visa privilege to Nepali nationals'

Published On: April 1, 2024 03:20 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 1: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has made a request to China for granting free visas to Nepali nationals wishing to visit China. Minister Shrestha reported a favorable reaction from the Chinese authorities to this proposal.

Upon his return to Kathmandu on Monday morning after a seven-day official visit to China, Minister Shrestha shared this information at a press conference held at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). He stated, “Since 2016, Nepal has been offering free visas to Chinese tourists. In the spirit of reciprocity, I have requested free visa provisions for Nepalis visiting China. The Chinese side has responded positively to our request.”

Minister Shrestha's visit to China began on March 24, following an invitation from the Chinese Foreign Minister. The visit included several high-level meetings aimed at bolstering economic diplomacy between the two nations. “My primary focus was on enhancing our economic ties and interdependence with China for Nepal’s development and prosperity. I proposed the idea of developing a development corridor linking Nepal with Tibet, Sichuan, and Chongqing in China as a pivotal initiative for our achievements. These discussions were centered around our current economic diplomacy priorities,” he elaborated.

The talks also covered finalizing and implementing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects. Minister Shrestha mentioned discussions on various cooperative ventures, including allowing Nepalis in the border areas access to grazing lands in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, electrification of Nepali border villages, resumption of direct bus services between Kathmandu and Lhasa, and establishing multifunctional labs along the Nepal-China border. The Chinese side showed a positive stance on providing support for the export of Nepali agricultural products and improving the sector's productivity.

An agreement to increase flights between Kathmandu, Pokhara, and various Chinese cities was reached, aiming to boost trade, people-to-people relations, and tourism. Minister Shrestha highlighted the reopening of the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung, Tatopani-Zhangmu, Yari-Purang, and Nechung-Lizi (Korala) trade routes, with China agreeing to reopen 14 traditional trade points closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible.

Furthermore, both nations agreed to establish a joint commission at the foreign minister level to discuss and enhance the friendly relations between Nepal and China regularly.


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