BEIJING, April 19: Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered a suggestion to Nepal with emphasis to start work on its economic prosperity after completing the twin tasks of constitution writing and the peace process.
President Xi expressed his commitment to providing all kinds of economic support to Nepal, saying Nepal"s economic progress has a direct impact on Tibet"s security concerns. He expressed his commitment and offered the suggestions during a meeting with UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is currently on a week-long China visit.
´We want to see completion of the constitution making and peace process and Nepal embarking on economic prosperity. We are ready to provide any kind of support for Nepal to achieve that,´ Dahal, in an exclusive interview with Republica in Beijing, quoted the Chinese leader as saying. The Maoist chairman said Xi repeated this commitment with emphasis thrice during the 45-minute talks. ´China is also positive about investment in Nepal, and this in partnership with India also,´ said Dahal.
The president of China, the second largest economy in the world, welcomed Dahal on Thursday, the day Xi completed his first month in office. Dahal is the first South Asian leader to be welcomed by Xi after the latter came to power last month. Nepal"s Ambassador to China, Mahesh Maskey, and embassy official Ram Prasad Subedi, were present during the formal meeting held at the Great Hall of the People.
After the meeting, Dahal said he realized that China has placed Tibet"s security issues in its top priority. ´As China"s new leadership has selected us as the first guest to be invited from South Asia, it can clearly be understood that the northern neighbor wants to give out a message that it attaches special significance to relations with Nepal,´ Dahal explained. ´It seems China has deemed it necessary to give greater importance to relations with Nepal to realize its dream of "One China, Prosperous China".´
Dahal urged the Chinese leader to invest more in Nepal, saying that Tibet"s security issues are related to Nepal"s economic development. ´I said that only an economically prosperous Nepal can effectively ensure a one-China policy, and a poor Nepal cannot,´ said Dahal immediately after he had met Xi. ´This is what I put forth with emphasis during the meeting and I noticed that the Chinese president noted it attentively.´
While leaving for China, Dahal had announced that he would focus on the economic agenda during his China visit.
He said in Beijing that he discussed two sectors during his meeting with Xi. ´First, I floated the idea of building hydroelectric projects of 1,000 to 10,000 MW capacity and the second is development of tourism,´ he said.
He requested the Chinese leader to support the building of the Mid-Hills Highway and the North-South Link Road. ´The project which can bring about an economic revolution in the long run is the Lhasa-Lumbini Railway,´ Dahal said, explaining that such a railway can be a link between India and China. ´With this project, Nepal can help connect India and China or China and the South Asian region. These changes will help address China"s security concerns.´
According to Dahal, the Chinese president was positive toward his railway proposal. ´The proposal that you have floated is good,´ Dahal quoted Xi as saying. ´He clearly said that the Chinese government and Communist Party will gradually work on this idea.´
He also informed that the Chinese president was positive over his proposal concerning the construction jointly by Nepal, China and India of some big projects such as Lumbini or Karnali-Chisapani. ´It"s a good idea. Let"s first do what we two countries can do. Then, we can also talk separately about what can be developed as joint projects,´ Dahal quoted Xi as saying.
Dahal held discussions on federalism with Chinese Vice-president Li Yuonchao and other leaders on Wednesday. He found that China was not against the federal system in Nepal. ´It isn"t that we don"t want federalism in Nepal. Our only concern is that a federal system should not create new complications in the days to come,´ Dahal quoted the chief of the Chinese Communist Party"s international department as saying.
UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Dahal held one-on-one talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.