KATHMANDU, April 17: Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali has said that infrastructure development, road, railway link and transmission line will top the agenda during his visit to China.
Holding a press conference at the ministry a few hours before embarking on a five-day visit to China on Monday, Minister Gyawali said his visit will focus on the implementation of past agreements reached between the two countries and enhancing cooperation.
“Nepal government has already inked a Memorandum of Understanding to be part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Infrastructure development, road connectivity, railway link, transmission line will be our priority issues during the visit,” he said.
Foreign Minister Gyawali informed that a high-level political meeting has been planned in Beijing during his visit. According to officials at the foreign ministry, Minister Gyawali is likely to hold meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Gyawali is scheduled to hold meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on April 18, which will be followed by a joint press conference.
The minister said he will also discuss reopening the Tatopani border point, which was closed by China after the 2015 earthquakes.
Minister Gyawali, however, said that the two sides will not discuss the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project, as the current government has been reviewing some decisions taken by the former government. The past government led by the Nepali Congress had scrapped a decision to award the project to a Chinese firm and decided to develop the project through domestic resources.
Nepali ambassador to China Leela Mani Paudyal and foreign ministry officials among others will accompany Gyawali during the visit. Gyawali is scheduled to address a roundtable meeting with Chinese think tanks in Beijing and attend a reception hosted by Ambassador Paudyal upon his arrival in Beijing on April 17.
Gyawali will also visit Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, and hold meeting with the provincial leaders and address a function at Sichuan University on April 20. He will return home on April 21.