China commends the Nepal government's decision not to move ahead on the State Partnership Program (SPP) with the United States, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday, Xinhua reported.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a daily news briefing when asked to comment on the issue.
Wang said that the program had been widely controversial in Nepal, as various political parties and factions, the government, the army and people across the Nepali society see the SPP as a military and security initiative closely linked to the Indo-Pacific Strategy. They consider it against the national interests of Nepal and its long-held non-aligned, balanced foreign policy to be part of the SPP, according to Xinhua.
"As Nepal's friendly and close neighbor and strategic cooperative partner, China commends the Nepal government's decision," Wang said, adding that China will continue to support Nepal in upholding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and support Nepal's commitment to its independent and non-aligned foreign policy.
"China stands ready to work with Nepal to jointly safeguard regional security, stability and shared prosperity," said the spokesperson, according to Xinhua.