What was your first impression of Nepal when you landed here as an Ambassador?
Before my appointment as ambassador to Nepal, I have visited Nepal for many times and been impressed nicely every time. Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multilingual country, where different cultures collide each other to create different colors. Whether it is the historical city of Kathmandu, or the trekking paradise of Pokhara, the Buddhist holy land of Lumbini, or the animal’s heaven of Chitwan, it makes me linger all around. Since taking the post as ambassador, I have received strong support and help from people from all walks of life in Nepal with whom I have forged a deep friendship. My love for the country made of hundreds of flowers goes even more. Nepal has become my second homeland.
What are the similarities between Nepal and China?
There are too many similarities between China and Nepal. For example, the two countries are with ancient civilizations and both of them enjoy a time-honored history and splendid culture. The two countries are very rich in tourism resources, and both have beautiful natural scenery and unique cultural landscapes. In addition, both countries are developing countries, and we are both yearning for national development and pursuing a better life.
What are the three milestones you feel you have achieved as China’s Ambassador to Nepal?
Firstly, In 2019, the heads of state of China and Nepal conducted a historic exchange of visits. President Bhandari paid a state visit to China and attended the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. During President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Nepal, the two heads of state jointly announced that bilateral relationship was elevated to a strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity. China-Nepal relations have got on a new historical starting point.
Secondly, In December, 2020, President Xi Jinping and President Bhandari exchanged letters to jointly announce that the new height of Mount Zhumulangma (Sagarmatha) is 8,848.86 meters. As an important symbol of the China-Nepal traditional friendship, “China-Nepal Friendship Peak” has got a new height, which showcased the high level of the continuous development of ChinaNepal relations. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the border treaty between China and Nepal. We will continue to promote border cooperation and build the border between China and Nepal into a border of peace, friendship, and cooperation.
Thirdly, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese and Nepali governments and people have always watched out for and helped each other to overcome the difficulties together. At the difficult time for China to fight the pandemic, Nepali friends donated masks to China and expressed support in various forms. Later, the pandemic situation in Nepal gradually deteriorated. China has donated anti-pandemic materials such as masks, PPEs, testing kits and oxygen generators to Nepal, and provided nearly 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal, which makes China the largest donor of medical materials and supplier of vaccines to Nepal. These have become a vivid reflection of building a community of shared future between China and Nepal.
How are the people-to-people relations between Nepal and China and how can the relationship be further enhanced?
In recent years, China-Nepal people-to-people exchanges have developed vigorously with various forms of exchanges. “China Mania” and “Chinese language Mania” have continued to heat up in Nepal. Before the pandemic, China became Nepal’s second largest and fastest-growing origin of tourists for many consecutive years. The Chinese government provides many scholarships to Nepal every year. The Chinese Embassy has actively organized painting competitions, video competitions, book donations and other activities to promote exchanges between the youths of the two countries. Local communication between the two countries are also very close. 13 pairs of sister cities have been established and Tibet-Nepal cooperation has yielded fruitful results. I believe that after stabilization of the pandemic situation, with our joint efforts, more Chinese friends will come to Nepal to visit and tour, making every year “Nepal Tourism Year”.
What do you like the most about Nepal?
I like Nepal’s beautiful natural scenery, long historic culture. Particularly I like Nepali people the most. They have the traditional virtues of hard-working and kindness as well as a positive and optimistic attitude towards life. One can see happy smiles on their faces wherever he or she goes. The time spent with Nepali friends is always unforgettable. I hope to get to know more Nepali friends after the pandemic.
Where do you think Nepal as a country should improve?
As a developing country, Nepal faces the important task of developing its economy and improving people's livelihood. I suggest that Nepal further enhance its infrastructure construction, continuously improve the business environment to attract more foreign investment, and embark on a development path suitable for Nepal’s national conditions.
Is there anything you have planned but are yet to achieve in Nepal?
I planned to travel to seven provinces in Nepal during my tenure and have been to Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini, Surket and some other cities as well as the two China-Nepal border ports of Tatopani and Rasuwa. However I have never left Kathmandu since the outbreak of the pandemic. I hope that after the pandemic situation stabilizes, I will have the opportunity to visit more places in Nepal to see a more colorful Nepal.
Nepal, located in the southern Himalayas, is a friendly neighbor of China. There are beautiful scenery of snow peaks and limpid lakes, the birthplace of Buddha, the legend that Manjushri split the Kathmandu Valley, the unique and inclusive world cultural heritage sites, and the uncompromising and kind people. The towering snow peaks witness the diverse cultures of both sides of the Himalayas and the friendly people-to-people exchanges across the mountains. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1955, China and Nepal always support and treat each other equally, and develop mutual beneficial cooperation on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Nowadays, China-Nepal relations are facing new prospect for development. The two countries are jointly advancing the Belt and Road Initiative to promote the cooperation in connectivity, trade and investment, energy, agriculture, culture and tourism. The increasing people-to-people exchanges are deepening the friendly feeling between us. I would like to take this opportunity to wish friendly Nepal prosperity and the people happiness and well-being.
Favorite Nepali food: Momo. Because it is very similar to Chinese dumplings, a traditional food very popular in China . Favorite place in Nepal: The Durbar Squares in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. I took some photos in Durbar Squares and posted them on social media in order to promote Nepal’s tourism resources in China, which attracted widespread attention from Chinese netizens. Favorite Nepali song: Resham firiri. Because this song is a well-known traditional folk song in Nepal and its melody is beautiful and pleasant. During Dashain Festival last year, I sang this song with my colleagues in the embassy. Favorite trek in Nepal: Sagarmatha trek. I once arrived at the Everest Base Camp on its North Slope and hope to have the opportunity to visit the Everest Base Camp on its South Slope. Favorite season in Nepal: All the four seasons in Nepal. Kathmandu is like spring all year round and the climate is pleasant. Favorite Nepali festival: Tihar. Because it symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil”. There is a Chinese traditional festival called Lantern Festival, during which people also light lanterns to exorcise evil spirits and pray for a bright life