By Our Reporter
President Bidhya Bhandari, at the invitation of the Chinese government, is leaving for China on 26 April. This is the first official visit of the Nepali President, a ceremonial chief of the nation, to China.
President Bhandari will attend the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit to be held in Beijing. This is the gesture that Nepal has become the active member of the BRI club, on which, China has given high priority.
During the visit, Bhandari is scheduled to meet with powerful Chinese President Xi Jingping.
According to the government sources, protocol on trade, transit and BRI will be signed during the President’s visit. The source informed that presently, concerned officials from China and Nepal are engaged in exchanging the draft of the protocol and giving final shape to it, which will be signed during the visit.
President Xi’s visit:
Chinese President Xi Jinping has already visited all the neighbouring countries of Nepal, however, due to different reasons, President Xi’s Kathmandu visit is impending. The Nepal government, particularly the government led by KP Sharma Oli is keen to host President Xi during his tenure. President Xi has already received invitation to visit Kathmandu, yet the visit has not taken place.
Earlier, it was highly expected that President Xi would visit Kathmandu on his way to Goa to attend the BRICS summit. Due to ongoing political instability, the visit was cancelled at the last hours and President Xi diverted his visit to Dacca, Bangladesh.
Currently, Nepal has a stable government enjoying nearly two-thirds majority. Therefore, the government is expecting Xi’s visit within this year.
In the meantime, some Chinese political observers have remarked that Xi’s visit will depend on Nepal’s homework and preparations. The Chinese government expect major breakthrough in relations and cooperation between the two countries during the visit of the supreme leader.
Such kind of breakthrough could be joint-venture projects on infrastructural development such as construction of big hydropower projects, roads and railway lines, they have pointed out. As China doesn’t impose instruction, the Nepal government should develop such projects to be announced during the visit of the supreme leader, they have remarked. If there will be the environment of major breakthrough, there is high possibility of President Xi’s visit by end of this year, they have informed.