After Modi visit ends, Nepal PM Oli announces his June visit to China
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi reciprocated the India visit by his Nepali counterpart KP Oli in April by a two-day visit to the Himalayan country this weekend, it is turn for Oli to make a state visit to China in June.
According to ANI, Oli, who came to power with a string mandate in last year's elections, informed the Nepali parliament about the outcome of the recent visit of Modi who also inaugurated a hydropower project in Nepal and said about his upcoming visit to China.
As per Nepal's Kathmandu Post, some agreements were inked during Oli's last visit to China in March 2016 when his first stint as the prime minister was on and they were expected to be executed during his upcoming visit. Nepal then tried to put in place another source of friendship, six months facing an alleged blockade on its southern border with India.
The date of the key visit is yet not finalised and could occur around the 18th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in China's coastal city of Qingdao, the report added.
Prime Minister Modi will also be present on the occasion as India. Nepal is an observer-nation at the SCO.
The ANI report said the major aim of the Oli visit to China will be to improve the two neighbours' bilateral relations that have seen a big boost in the recent years, even putting the close relation between Nepal and India under a stiff competition.
Nepal of late has showed its intent to follow a foreign policy outside the shadows of its two neighbours whereby Kathmandu chases its own economic interest above everything else and Oli's upcoming visit will see Nepal looking to expedite funds on its soil backed by Chinese funds, the ANI report said, adding that the two countries would also discover new areas of cooperation.
Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said the protocol for the Transit Transport Agreement will be signed during the Nepali prime minister's visit, the ANI report added.
A couple of Memoranda of Understanding were also expected to be signed - one on the launch of a joint feasibility study for the Nepal-China free trade agreement, the Kathmandu Post reported, while another on the formation of a joint coordination and implementation mechanism to monitor projects funded by China in Nepal.
China would also assist Nepal on a deal on build oil storage facilities in Nepal and also including Nepali projects under China's Road & Belt Initiative which it has joined despite India's concerns.