By Gopal Khanal (KATHMANDU, 12 October 2019) – Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Nepal from Saturday. While highlighting his visit to Nepal, he has made public seven major points of Nepal-China relations in an article published in the Gorkhapatra and The Rising Nepal on Friday.
Reciprocating with President Xi’s views on Nepal-China relations, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has highlighted some of the same points. China is a trusted neighbour of Nepal. Moreover, China is the second largest global power of the world and it is becoming a superpower soon. Therefore President Xi’s visit to Nepal should be seen as not just a visit by the head of state of our northern neighbour but also a visit of a powerful leader of the world. In this sense, this visit is historic.
There are four major dimensions of President Xi’s visit.
In the first place, it is a beginning as well as the continuation of historic visits. China does have responsibilities towards its neighbours. But it also has global responsibilities. President Xi is the second powerful leader of China after Mao, who led the revolutionary movement and established the Communist rule in China. Thereafter China has never looked back for a regime change. Now President Xi has propounded a thought of socialism of Chinese characteristics called Xi Thought. In the nucleus of the thought is peaceful rise of China. Xi’s visit, therefore, is itself a historic visit.
Second is the trust to Nepali government and Nepali people. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had always put the visit of President Xi to Nepal on his priority. In his first premiership, he had invited the Chinese leadership to visit Nepal. But due to unprecedented political developments at home, the high-level visit remained uncertain. Again, after Oli came to power through elections, Xi’s visit has materialised. This shows China’s trust to Nepali political leadership and Nepali people. President Xi has been giving priority to relations at the people’s level. In this visit too, there are a couple of agenda that relate to promote people-to-people relations.
Third is the contribution to Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali. Prime Minister Oli and President Bidya Devi Bhandari have been openly inviting the international community to invest in Nepal. Prime Minister Oli’s main focus is to transform politically stable Nepal into an economically developed Nepal. While meeting with President Xi and Prime Minister Li Keqiang of China. Prime Minister Oli briefed them about the slogan of Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali. And President Xi and Prime Minister Li had immediately pronounced their support to the slogan.
This visit will, therefore, support our national goal by pushing forward some agenda, including the mega ones. The detailed project report of Kerung-Kathmandu rail to build up the Tokha-Khahare Tunnel and some north-south corridors, among others, are to be signed during the visit. Informed sources have said there will be a ‘surprise’ aid announced by President Xi to Nepal during the visit. President Xi has rightly said that Nepal and China are good partners for mutual benefit and good brothers to support each other in times of need.
Fourth is development of high level political understanding. How much support China will announce for Nepal during the visit cannot be the basis to judge the success of the visit. Nepal and China have already established the historic relations by signing the Transport and Transit Agreement and even the protocols have been endorsed. This historic agreement is yet to come to full-fledged implementation. This historic agreement with China has set Nepal on a real journey to being land-linked from its earlier state of being landlocked.
The high level visit, which was due for 23 years, has now resumed and this will continue in the future too. This is the greatest achievement of the visit.