Laxmi Capital News
China urged to build railway under grant

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, whoreturned home on Saturday wrapping up his five-day official visit to China,said that he has requested the Chinese side to construct the much-talked-aboutcross-border railway between the two neighbors under a grant. 

“During our bilateral talks, we have requested theChinese side to build the cross-border railway under the grant aid as a symbolof bilateral relations between the two neighbors. However, we are open fordiscussion about possible investment model for the infrastructure,” Gyawalisaid, speaking to reporters at Tribhuvan International Airport. 

During his China visit, Foreign Minister Gyawali had heldbilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. 

“There can be several investment models for theimplementation of projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.But for the cross-border railway, our request to the Chinese side was that theyhelp us build the infrastructure under a grant,” he said. 

The Nepal-China Cross Border Railway line, which is tostretch from Keyrong of China to Kathmandu and from Kathmandu to Pokhara andLumbini, is estimated to cost up to USD 8 billion.

Minister Gyawali said that both sides have reached anunderstanding to conduct a feasibility study and preparation of the Detailed ProjectReport (DPR) for the Nepal-China Cross Border Railway line at theearliest. 

“I was asked by the Chinese side if my visit aims to layground for the prime minister's visit to China. I said the aim of my visit isnot just to lay ground for high-level visits between the two neighbors but I amalso here to discuss many other bilateral issues,” he said, adding that hisvisit was fruitful as there were detailed discussions in terms of exploring newareas of bilateral cooperation under the frame work of the BRI. 

Apart from meeting his counterpart Wang, Minister Gyawalihad also called on Chinese Vice-president Wang Qishan. 

Minister Gyawali also said that both sides have agreed toimplement all the past agreements signed between the two countries, includingthe agreements made by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in 2016 and by the thenPrime Minister Pushpa Kamala Dahal. The Transit and Transport Agreement and theMoU on launching a joint feasibility study for a Nepal-China Free TradeAgreement are the key documents signed during Oli visit during his first stintas the prime minister. Similarly, the Dahal-led government had signed aMemorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation on the Belt and RoadInitiative (BRI). 

Minister Gyawali said that both sides have shared commonviews on developing a Trans-Himalayan Multidimensional Transport Network so asto develop dry ports, railways, roads, air connectivity, cross-borderelectricity transmission and information technology for better connectivitybetween the two neighbors and ensuring sustainable common development. 

“We have also agreed to set up a bilateral coordinationand implementation mechanism for the effective implementation of all theprojects implemented through the Chinese support,” he added.

During his visit to China, Gyawali had also held meetingswith provincial leaders in Chengdu and delivered a speech at a program held inhis honor at Sichuwan University before his arrival back home on Saturday.

Source : My Republica, 22nd April 2018

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