KATHMANDU, July 28 (Xinhua)– China-Nepal bilateral cooperation deals on connectivity, trade and transit should not be affected by the recent political change in Nepal, experts said here on Thursday.
“China and Nepal have been enjoying friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations back in 1955 and it needs to be further enhanced in the present context,” Former Nepalese diplomat Dr Mohan Lohani told Xinhua, adding that recent bilateral cooperation projects between the two countries should not be halted due to political changes in Nepal.
Dr Lohani, who is also a political commentator, stressed the importance of effective implementation of agreements on connectivity, trade, commerce and transit reached between the two countries during Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli’s visit to Beijing in March this year.
“Transit transport agreement is one of the milestone agreements between Nepal and China signed during the prime minister’s visit. The deal was aimed at reducing Nepal’s overwhelming economic dependence on India which will give the landlocked Nepal access to the sea via the Chinese ports,” Lohani said.
He added the next government should sincerely go forward for the effective implementation of the 10 various transit and commerce related-deals so as to promote the country’s national interest.
Former Foreign Secretary Madhuraman Acharya also holds similar views.
“Deals between China and Nepal signed during Prime Minister Oli’s Beijing visit should be implemented and the change of guard in the country should not affect such deals,” he said.
“Such bilateral deals should be owned up whoever comes in power. The respective states have their moral and international obligations in the implementation of such treaties or deals.”
Infrastructure expert in Nepal, Dr Surya Raj Acharya, opined that Nepal-China agreements during the prime minister’s Beijing visit had offered a rare opportunity for Nepal to embark on a new area of infrastructure development, industrialization and economic growth by utilizing China’s capital, technology, market and access to global value-chain.
Though the agreements are just on paper so far, Acharya said that overwhelming majority of Nepalese people see these agreements as important means to meet their aspiration for prosperity of the country.
“People will be keenly watching the response of the new government on these agreements. Not implementing these would certainly incur a heavy political cost for the new government,” he said.
While announcing his resignation at the parliament session on July 24, Prime Minister Oli had expressed doubt whether the next government would implement deals with China.
Outgoing Prime Minister Oli’s Foreign Affairs Advisor and expert on Foreign Affairs Gopal Khanal said that the deals signed between China and Nepal should be fully implemented by the next government for the sake of the country’s long-term socio-economic development in order to promote friendly ties between the two countries.
Earlier in April, a high-level committee under the leadership of Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi comprising senior officials of different ministries was formed by the Oli-led cabinet to expedite implementation of the accords signed with China and India.