Signing of MoU on BRI marks new page in Nepal-China relations: Chinese scholars

By Nandalal Tiwari, Beijing, May 12: Chinese scholars and experts have termed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) between Nepal and China as the beginning of a new page in the history of cooperation of the two neighbours.

“The signing of the MOU on the BRI is a very positive development. It marks a new page in China-Nepal cooperation. The next step should be active implementation of the MoU for early result,” said Prof. Huang Youyi, secretary general of the international advisory board of the Charhar Institute, on Friday.

Nepal and China signed the MoU on the BRI on Friday, just two days before the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is being held in the Chinese capital city, Beijing. In his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March this year, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' had expressed commitment that Nepal would sign the MoU to participate in the BRI.

Some 29 head of states and goverment, 1500 representatives including minsters from 130 countries and 70 international organisations are participating in the Forum which will be covered by some 4,000 journalists from around the world.

Talking to The Rising Nepal, Prof. Zhao Kejin of Tsinghua University, Beijing, viewed that the signing of the MoU on the BRI had added new dimensions to Nepal-China relations.

“Now China and Nepal will come even closer as the BRI will promote interconnectedness between the two. Railway from Lhasa to Kathmandu will very soon connect the two in different way as the BRI is also for infrastructure development. Moreover, Chinese investment in Nepal will also grow as the BRI is also about trade.

Prof. Zhao said Tibet was very sensitive for China. “As Nepal is our neighbor bordering with Tibet, Nepal is very important also for this. Therefore, the delay in signing of the OBOR may have been caused due to this and other factors," he said when asked about the possible causes for the delay in the signing of the MoU.

 Prof. Wang Yiwei of the Department of International Relations, Renmin University, said that the BRI will help reduce Nepal’s sole dependency on India.

“Nepal is an important neighbor for China. The BRI will help Nepal diversify its trade. As Nepal needs infrastructure and energy for development, Chinese investment on these will increase and with better connectivity more Chinese tourist will visit Nepal, which will help Nepal,” he said.

Prof. Wang said that Nepal could be Switzerland of Asia with better infrastructure and economic development. “The BRI will be helpful for Nepal in this regard.”



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