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Nepal, China prepare for high-level visits

Nepal, China prepare for high-level visits
Nepal-China bilateral cooperation has gathered momentum with the easing of zero-covid policy in China. This could also be due to the fact that Nepal recently formed a new government under Pushpa Kamal Dahal of CPN (Maoist Center). From January 8, China opened its border for international travelers. With this, officials say, Nepal-China interactions, which were largely limited to virtual platforms, are all set to take place in-person. The two countries have also resumed two-way trade, but there are still some bottlenecks when it comes to export of Nepali products to China.

After the outbreak of covid, air connectivity between the two countries came to a standstill, except for some cargo and special flights. Now, preparations are underway to resume the commercial flights between the two countries.

Nepal’s Ambassador to China Bishnu Pukar Shrestha said starting Jan 17, direct flights Himalayan Airlines will resume direct flights from Beijing to Kathmandu. He added preparations are also on for conducting additional flights. Meanwhile, Nepal and China have also begun preparations for high-level visits in the next couple of months.  A diplomatic source told ApEx that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is likely to visit China at the end of March to participate in the Boao Form for Asia. The newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has already begun diplomatic trips and he is likely to visit South Asian countries soon. The source said the Chinese foreign minister could visit Kathmandu too. A high-level Chinese delegation is also expected to visit Nepal to convey Beijing’s message to the new government. Ambassador Shrestha said efforts would be made for high-level exchange of visits in 2023. He added the two countries would resume the exchange of visits between government delegations, think-tank representatives, academicians, media persons, students and artists. Nepal and China are also preparing to resume in-person meetings of bilateral mechanisms. A Chinese team is already in Kathmandu for the feasibility study of the Kathmandu-Kerung railway.