China to strengthen connectivity, trade with Nepal: premier Li

BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) — China will take the Belt and Road Initiative as an opportunity to strengthen connectivity, trade and investment with Nepal, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

Li made the remarks when meeting with Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who is on an official visit to China from Sept. 6 to 11.

“China will work with Nepal to speed up the feasibility study of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the development of cross-border economic zones,” Li said.

The premier suggested bilateral cooperation in energy, infrastructure, post-disaster reconstruction and tourism, assuring Nepal that China will do its best to support the Himalayan country’s economic and social development.

“China hopes for unity among all factions in Nepal and smooth progress in their political agenda to usher in a new phase of lasting stability and prosperity for the country,” Li said.

Li said China is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with Nepal to ensure bilateral cooperation benefits the two countries’ development, their people as well as regional stability and prosperity.

Mahara said Nepal-China relationship is exemplary in following the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

Nepal will continue to adhere to the one-China policy, maintain high-level exchanges and deepen practical cooperation to achieve win-win results, Mahara said.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi also met with Mahara on Thursday.

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