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Building on long-standing friendship

By MAHENDRA BAHADUR PANDEY | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-07-30 07:28
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Situated on the southern lap of the Himalayas, Nepal is a country with the glorious history of a rich and syncretic civilization. Its unique topography is home to the splendor and mystery of nature. On the other side of the vast swath of the Himalayas, China is at the center of one of the most advanced ancient civilizations in the world. The history of interactions and exchanges between the two civilizations of Nepal and China has remained not only deep and continuous but also highly productive and mutually beneficial.

This year, we are celebrating the 66th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and China. From the very beginning of diplomatic relations, our two countries have enjoyed unparalleled friendship and good neighborly relations fostered by mutual trust, understanding and cooperation. Close civilizational links dating back to antiquity and ancient bonds of friendship between our two peoples form the bedrock of our bilateral relations. Characterized by friendship, equality, harmony and cooperation, Nepal-China relations are unique, time-tested and exemplary.

The relations between Nepal and China are guided by the five principles of peaceful coexistence, mutual trust and understanding and the common pursuit of peace and development. We are good neighbors, trusted friends and reliable partners. Nepal's principled position on the one-China policy has remained unshakeable and irreversible, irrespective of changes in its regime and government. China is Nepal's major development partner. Chinese cooperation has contributed much to Nepal's socioeconomic development efforts, particularly in physical infrastructure, transport, communication, energy, health, education, and human resource development. Both Nepal and China have supported each other through weal and woe.

In recent years, high-level exchanges have given fresh momentum to Nepal-China relations. The exchange of state visits at the presidential level in 2019 attests to the high importance accorded by our two countries in further promoting bilateral relations. The Joint Communique issued after the Leaders' Roundtable of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April 2019 is a vision of Belt and Road cooperation, which also includes the vision of developing trans-Himalayan multidimensional connectivity network to boost connectivity between Nepal and China. The Belt and Road Initiative will help build the critical infrastructure and remove the barriers for a seamless movement of people, goods and services across the Nepal-China border. Moreover, the improvement in transportation and connectivity will help countries in the region to integrate their markets, and reap the benefits of expanded trade and commerce.

It is encouraging to note that the prefeasibility study of the Nepal-China cross-border railway project has already been completed, and the two countries have agreed to conduct a feasibility study. The projects under Chinese investment in Nepal are making good progress and several thousand students from Nepal are currently studying in China. At the crux of Nepal-China relations is the pursuit of social and economic development by enhancing cooperation in trade, tourism, investment and connectivity, building human capital and infrastructure, and deepening people-to-people relations. Bilateral cooperation will gain further momentum as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.

The Communist Party of China has the overwhelming support of Chinese people as it has not only successfully eradicated extreme poverty in China, but also generally contained the novel coronavirus by putting the lives and health of people first. The CPC has led the country to make tremendous development achievements that have also inspired people around the world to move forward with visions, plans and a commitment to equality, prosperity and justice. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its founding, the CPC deserves the plaudits it has received from around the world.

In recent years, Nepal and China have been working together to further advance their age-old, time-tested and mutually beneficial cooperative relations. The recent achievements in promoting bilateral cooperation in building infrastructure, advancing connectivity and deepening people-to-people relations have been remarkable. There are enormous possibilities for the two countries to tap through mutual cooperation in promoting socioeconomic transformation and raising the living standards of the two peoples.

Nepal's fruitful cooperation with China is of great value and substance. The two countries have been working closely together to develop infrastructure and boost trade, investment and connectivity. China is an important partner for Nepal's development, including under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. In the future, Nepal and China will continue to work hand-in-hand to meet the development aspirations of their peoples for a just, inclusive and peaceful global order where no one is left behind. In the days ahead, Nepal and China will continue to cooperate with each other in further promoting and advancing the age-old relations between the two countries while at the same time joining hands in combating the pandemic, supporting economic recovery and pursuing economic growth and development.

The author is the ambassador of Nepal to China. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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