Nepali vice president visits China to strengthen ties

Nepal hopes to reduce dependence on India that has traditionally exercised clout over landlocked country

Nepali vice president visits China to strengthen ties

World Bulletin / News Desk

Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun left for China on Tuesday on a week-long trip that aims to consolidate ties between the two countries.

Pun, a former Maoist commander, is leading an 11-member delegation to attend China’s 23rd Lanzhou Investment and Trade Fair, a gathering of business leaders and foreign delegates in Lanzhou, the capital of northwest Gansu province.

On Wednesday, he is scheduled to address a forum on the New Silk Road and will also address members of the business community. Along with Malaysia, Nepal will be a guest of honor at the event also known as the Lanzhou Fair.

Nepal is reportedly working on a protocol of its transit and transport agreement with China, which was signed a year ago during a visit by Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.

Once signed, the protocol will eventually help Nepal reduce its dependence on India, its neighbor in the south, which has traditionally exercised clout over the landlocked country.

Ties between the two countries grew strong after Oli visited China in March last year and signed a raft of agreements in Beijing.

Many in Kathmandu think Nepal was being pushed northward following an unofficial five-month blockade by India in 2015, which halted supplies and chocked the mountainous country.

The Indian move followed promulgation of Nepal’s long-awaited post-war constitution, which triggered protests from ethnic groups in the country's southern plains.

The diplomatic standoff and the ensuing overtures led to distance between Nepal and India, casting doubt whether India would have a grip over its strategically-important backyard.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Temmuz 2017, 16:43