Laxmi Capital News
'Nepal-China relations extraordinary and unprecedented'-PM Oli

Government of both neighbours—China and India havecalled Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's slogan of 'prosperous Nepal, HappyNepalis' as 'significant', while recognizing it at the government level. Inthis light, Prime Minister Oli has described Nepal's relation with China asextraordinary and unprecedented during an interview with RSS at the fag end ofhis six-day China visit in Lhasa of the Tibet Autonomous Region today. Theexcerpts of the interview are given below: 

long time, where do you get this energyfrom? 
Ithas now become my habit to work for many hours a day. I don't find it difficultto work for seventeen to eighteen hours in a day. 

TheGovernment of China welcomed you with high respect, while a 14-point jointstatement has already been released. Overall, how enthusiastic can we becomeover it? 
Naturally, China is not only our immediate friendly nation but also a veryreliable and everlasting cooperative friendly neighbour. A friendly nation,with whom we have never had any problems, and one who has always beensupporting us. The agreements that had been reached during my previous visithere in March 2016 and the subsequent joint press statement were historical.The agreements in the joint statement are on matters that would guide Nepal toa new era and take Nepal-China relations to newer height. Taking thoseagreements forward and making them timely are the needs of the day. And wediscussed accordingly, and hence there is no reason for us to not be optimisticin practice. 

We are hopeful. The many agreements reached betweenus have been reflected in the joint statement. We have moved ahead in the areaof increasing investment of the government as well as the private sector, andthe support from the government side. There too, one would not find any reasonnot to be content. 

MrPrime Minister, railways was the subject of highest public concern during thisvisit. How strong has the possibility of Keyrung-Kathmandu railway become withthe agreement reached in Beijing? 
Definitely, this is a matter that is yet to undergo a survey. So far it is amatter based on our aspirations. Chinese President Xi Jinping did clarify hisvision of reaching railway service up to Kathmandu. This railways has alreadyreached Shigatse and would ultimately be reaching to Kathmandu, Pokhara andthen to Lumbini via Keyrung. For now, Kathmandu is the minimumdestination. 

What people feel strange about this is that we aretalking about inland waterways and operating riverboats even though the worldhas made drastic changes in this sector. But we are working and we will markthe beginning of this soon. People find it weird when we talked about owningports and operating ships and they considered it a strange too while proposingalternative routes and provision for transportation. Also many othersconsidered it something different as we talked about the country's graduationto a modern age.

This is not something to be considered strange. Ihave floated the slogan of Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalis to move ahead basedon the systems of political and diplomatic affairs, social order, goodgovernance and economic development. It has a valid reason. Under this veryaspect, we are not talking just to touch our border land by the railway fromany other country.

The east-west railway, railway linking the capitalcity, Kathmandu-Pokhara railway, railway inside Kathmandu Valley,Thankot-Dhulikhel railway and Kathmandu-Birgunj railway are means for ensuringbetter connectivity to enter Nepal into a modern age. All areas of relations,transportation and information should be used for development in a modern way.So, again questions have been raised over the railways but we have agreed onfinalizing the feasibility study and proceed ahead for other relatedworks. 

Agreement wasmade in Beijing on Nepal's cargo transport and the Prime Minister also met withthe Chief of Government of Tibet. Looking at these two developments, agreementand meeting together, how Nepalis can take benefits now? 

The agreement has been signed. We had a lot ofdifficulties to supply goods from one belt of the northern area of our owncountry to the rest part in the country. We had difficulties in case of supplyof medicines or relief and rescue materials and supply essential goods in caseof epidemic. In those circumstances, we used to use Tibetan highwaytemporarily.

Now, that situation has been put to an end. Now, wecan use the Tibetan highway in such times and we can supply goods in any beltof our northern region. It has been quite favourable for us. During my talkswith the Chief of Government of Tibet twice, he was found to be very positivein this regard. Their aspiration is positive. Their support will be continuedwith supportive aspirations in a positive way. 

You have been repeatedly saying that friendship isgreater than the projects. While looking through the lens of friendship, whatheight this visit has offered to the bilateral relations? 
This is extraordinary, this is unprecedented. The agreement and joint statementof 2016 were extraordinary. The present one has further advanced the same. Thisis incredible. 

The nation isopening multi doors for development and prosperity under your leadership.During the visit, you and Chinese President Xi held one-on-one meeting forabout half an hour. Are new perspectives developing in new era? 

Definitely, I talked to President Xi for about 35 to40 minutes on an individual basis and then 35 to 40 minutes in a group. Thentalks were held with Chinese Premier for around an hour in the dialogue venuewhile around an hour on an individual basis. These talks have played animportant role to strengthen bilateral relations in a multifaceted way.

In this hour, I want to share that Nepal is notinvolved in it lightly and does not want to develop diplomacy for temporarypurpose. Some people say, north and south cards are used but we do not use anycards, we want to extend the hands of friendship with both neighbours. We don’tbelieve in using cards, we only believe in friendship. We want to extend ourfriendship to extend others' friendships with their friends as well. 

Finally,you are now on a China visit, few days ago you visited India, and people areeagerly waiting for a clear message of this visit, what is the purpose of thisvisit? 

In practice, I made a trip to India, which wasfollowed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Nepal. Thenbilateral projects are showing good results. Similarly, achievements of thisvisit will be seen gradually. Developing railways is not like using a magicstick. The process has begun for it. 

Various hydro projects, industrial parks, industriesand cooperation sectors have extended. Works have begun and would gain speed.Results will prove it. People used to think that silence is diplomacy, someother believe in diplomacy to tolerate whatever happens.

But we move ahead keeping national interest,international laws and obligations in the centre. And we keep friendlyrelations in the highest place so our policies and priorities are right. We aremoving ahead with success of these policies, which are already reflected inpractice. RSS

Source: MyRepublica, 24th June 2018

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