KATHMANDU, Oct 17: Co-chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Nepal has laid the foundation for realizing the idea of a trilateral partnership between China, Nepal and India.
Addressing a tea reception hosted by the NCP in the capital on the occasion of the festivals of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath, Chairman Dahal said that although it was he who initially floated the idea of trilateral cooperation in the form of an economic partnership, the recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to both India and Nepal had created a conducive environment for such cooperation as political understanding between New Delhi and Beijing had also witnessed significant improvement.
“I had taken up the matter of forging a trilateral partnership between the three countries during my talks with top leaders of both China and India a few years ago. I believe the recent visit of Chinese President Xi to Nepal has laid the foundation for realizing this idea,” he said.
In his meeting with Nepali leaders during his visit here, the Chinese president had said that Nepal could benefit from the partnership of peace and development being cultivated between India and China. He had urged Nepal to benefit from their partnership, while also referring to the concept of “two plus one” cooperation.
According to one participant in the meeting, Xi said he had talked to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and told him that both India and China should help Nepal in its pursuit of development. “You should take advantage of the China-India plus concept of peace and development partnership,” the ruling party leader quoted President Xi as saying.
A press statement issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Friday after the conclusion of an informal Summit meeting between Xi and Modi said that China and India had agreed to expand the concept of ‘China-India plus’ cooperation in South Asia and beyond.
“It is necessary to gradually expand “China-India plus” to South Asia, South East Asia and Africa, to create a smoother regional interconnection network, and to reach a “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” as soon as possible,” reads the statement.
While stating that a favorable environment was lately being created for trilateral cooperation between Nepal, India and China, Dahal said the Xi visit was a watershed moment in bilateral ties between Nepal and China. “Xi’s visit to Nepal has multiple dimensions and one of these is laying the foundation for a trilateral partnership between China, Nepal and India,” he further said.
Dahal said that recent talks between Chinese President Xi and Indian Prime Minister Modi over the prospect of a “two plus one” format for dialogue is welcome news at a time when Nepal is pushing forward the concept of trilateral partnership between China, Nepal and India.
Dahal also said that various agreements reached between the two sides during President Xi’s visit will be beneficial in the long run.
“Chinese President Xi’s commitment to helping Nepal realize its dream of transforming itself from a landlocked country into a land-linked one suggests that our bilateral cooperation has entered a new era,” he said.