Prez’s China visit receives extensive media coverage
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, May 2: The state-visit of President Bidya Devi Bhandari to China has received extensive media coverage in China and elsewhere around the world.
She made headlines in some of the major Chinese televisions, newspapers and online.
Nepal’s strong support to the Chinese mega-project Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), cordial relations between the two countries and the second largest economy’s good faith on its southern neighbour has resulted in overwhelming media coverage of the visit.
“President hails Nepal’s participation in BRI,” reads the first page headline in China Daily. The popular newspaper in China has featured presidents of Nepal, Switzerland and Portugal.
China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported that China attached great importance to the relationship with Nepal.
“China supports Nepal’s efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and supports Nepal’s independent choice of social system and development path suited for its national conditions,” CGTN quoted Chinese President Xi.
He noted that both the countries should enhance infrastructure cooperation and continue to build the China-Nepal Cross-Border Economic Cooperation Zone. His statement became headlines in a number of media in and out of China, including India as well.
Likewise, President Bhandari assured that Nepal firmly adhered to the one-China policy and would never allow any force to engage in any anti-China activities on Nepali territory.
Chinese news agency Xinhua gave high importance to the President’s entourage and her engagements which resulted in wider coverage of the events in the media around the globe.
Similarly, major Indian media outlets also accorded high priority to the President Bhandari’s visit to China. It was primarily of two reasons – BRI and transit treaty.
India is not in the BRI initiative and wants to control Nepal’s international trade but opening alternative ports and developing cross-border infrastructure in the north would support the latter’s trade diversification and India may not have upper hand in Nepal’s issues.
Popular Indian print media like the Business Standard, the Hindustan Time, Business Today, Business Line, and other vernacular dailies and all of the news television including the government run Door Darshan carried out the news with priority.
This was the first visit of President Bhandari to China. She received 21-cannon Guard of Honour upon her arrival in Beijing and Nepali national anthem was also played.
President Bhandari had embarked on a 9-day visit to the northern neighbour on April 24; however, she shortened her entourage by a day due to altitude sickness during her visit to Tibet Autonomous Region of China and returned home on Wednesday.
She held delegation level bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and senior Chinese leaders, and attended the Second Belt and Road Forum for International cooperation in Beijing.
During her visit, the two countries signed the Protocol on Trade and Transit which has allowed Nepal to use seven Chinese ports.
She visited Xi’an, capital of Shanxi province, and Lhasa in Tibet and met provincial leaders as well.
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