Nepal, China to strengthen military, bilateral ties

New Delhi, Nov 30 : China’s State Councilor and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe met Nepal’s political and military leadership in Kathmandu before flying out to Pakistan on Sunday, and both sides said they would strengthen bilateral ties and military cooperation.

Wei met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Army Chief Purna Chandra Thapa during the day.

The Nepal Army said Wei also carried the message of his government that it is positive about resumption of training and student exchange programmes and following up on defence assistance that have been impacted in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

Wei’s visit followed a visit by Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla who concluded his two-day Nepal trip on Friday.

Shringla’s arrival in Nepal was preceded by two back-to-back visits from India — by Army Chiefs and the Research and Analysis Wing head early this month and in the third week of November, respectively.

Kathmandu Post quoting sources reported that Wei’s visit was preceded by an advance Chinese team whichchad communicated China’s various political and security concerns.

President Bhandari expressed appreciation over China’s firm support for Nepal’s economic development and social stability, saying Nepal is willing to work with China to strengthen bilateral cooperation in all fields including defence while actively participating in the construction under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The friendly cooperation between Nepal and China has been both comprehensive and deep-rooted since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties 65 years ago, said Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, who is also the defence minister, during his meeting with Wei.

Oli said that he believes that military cooperation between the two countries will be further strengthened after the visit.

For his part, Wei said relations between China and Nepal were upgraded to a strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal last year.

He praised Nepal’s upholding of the One-China policy and also voiced China’s firm support for Nepal in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

State-run Xinhua news agency reported that Wei said China will maintain close communication and deepen pragmatic cooperation with Nepal while providing continuous assistance and support for the construction of the Nepali military to make greater contribution to the regional peace and stability.

UNI

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