Nepal gives high importance to relationship with China: Minister Basnet

KATHMANDU, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) — Nepal’s newly appointed Information and Communications Minister Mohan Bahadur Basnet said Thursday that his country has given high importance to its relationship with China.

Appreciating incessant support extended by China to Nepal, the minister highlighted the wide-ranging cooperation between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations on August 1, 1955.

“China’s continuous support has been instrumental in our socio-economic prosperity for years. I believe that the two countries can further strengthen their cooperation in multi-dimensional areas such as tourism, disaster response and connectivity,” the minister said addressing a talk program organized by the Sino-Nepal Media Society.

Basnet commended China’s support to Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2015.

Basnet, who is a leader of the ruling Nepali Congress, was appointed the minister two weeks ago in the Deuba-led Cabinet that came to power in June this year.

The information minister also asked the Chinese government to help reopen the Tatopani-Khasa (Zhangmu) border point which has remained shut after the devastating earthquake in 2015.

Meanwhile, in the same program former Foreign Minister of Nepal Mahendra Pandey, was of the view that Nepal-China relations can be further strengthened under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

“I believe that Nepal’s dream to transform into a land-linked country from the current landlocked will be materialized through strong partnership with China under the Belt and Road cooperation. So the Belt and Road Initiative is a new opportunity for us,” he said.

Another Former Foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey said that Nepal should focus on building political confidence with China to reap benefit from the rise of China. “The more we build the political confidence the more we can enhance understanding with China,” he said.

During the program, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Yu Hong expressed hope that China-Nepal ties will be further expanded under the Belt and Road Initiative framework, noting that the two countries have witnessed steady progress in their relationship over the years.

“We have been deepening political, economic and cultural relationship over the years. I see a bright future in bilateral cooperation between China and Nepal under the Belt and Road Initiative as we signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May to this effect,” she said.

Ambassador Yu said China has been extending support to Nepal as a very important neighboring country.

“China extended 3 billion RMB to Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction. Our support will be continued in future under the Belt and Road Initiative,” she said.

The program was attended by political party leaders, civil society members, media persons and various sections of Nepali society.

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