China's third-ranked leader Li Zhanshu calls on Nepal PM Deuba; holds talks with Oli, Prachanda

| | Kathmandu
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China's third-ranked leader Li Zhanshu calls on Nepal PM Deuba; holds talks with Oli, Prachanda

Wednesday, 14 September 2022 | PTI | Kathmandu

China's top legislator and third-ranked leader in the country's political hierarchy Li Zhanshu on Tuesday held talks with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other top political leaders of Nepal during which they discussed matters of mutual interests.

Li, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress - China's parliament, called on Prime Minister Deuba, who is also the chief of the Nepali Congress, at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday evening, officials said.

The details of the meeting has not yet been made public.

Li, who arrived in Nepal on a three-day visit on Monday at the invitation of Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota, also met Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka and the two leaders discussed matters of mutual interests, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier, Li held meetings with National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, former prime ministers K P Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and discussed bilateral ties and other issues of mutual interest.

Li held talks with CPN-UML chairman Oli at the Federal Parliament building here and during the meeting the two leaders discussed various issues of mutual interest, according to party sources.

Oli was accompanied by other leaders, including Ashta Laxmi Shakya, Subhas Nemwang and Rajan Bhattarai.

Li also met CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Prachanda during which matters relating to bilateral interest and mutual concern were discussed, party sources said.

Other leaders of the party, including vice-chairman Krishna Bahadur Mahara, general secretary Dev Gurung, Pampha Bhushal and Shakti Basnet, were also present on the occasion.

On Monday, Li and Speaker Sapkota held wide-ranging talks following which a six-point Memorandum of Understanding was inked between the parliament of Nepal and the Chinese People's Congress on inter-parliamentary cooperation.

During delegation-level talks, the two leaders expressed happiness over the excellent state of bilateral relations and cooperation subsisting between Nepal and China and held discussions on different matters of mutual interests.

They also exchanged views on the importance of implementing connectivity infrastructures, including under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an ambitious initiative from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The BRI, an initiative launched by President Xi in 2013, is a massive infrastructure project that would stretch from East Asia to Europe and aimed at bolstering Beijing's influence across the world.

The Chinese side assured that it will clear all containers destined to Nepal, which were halted for weeks on Nepal-China border point at Tatopani of Sindhupalchowk district, 100-km east of Kathmandu, at the earliest before the festive season in Nepal.

The six-point MoU signed between the two sides includes issues relating to the exchange of high-level visits, promoting goodwill and understanding, strengthening mutual assistance under the framework of regional and global organisations of the parliament, giving importance to facilitating mutual benefits by means of enhancing inter-connectivity as per the agreements including the BRI, sources said.

The MoU will remain effective for five years but it will also continue to be in force as it is until either side writes to amend or cancel it, they said.

Li is leading a 67-member delegation comprising officials from the People's Congress, the Communist Party of China, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

He will call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday.

He is scheduled to visit Bhaktapur to inspect the post earthquake restoration works before leaving Kathmandu wrapping up his three-day official visit on Thursday Morning.


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