Nepal Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha visits Tibet; calls for opening 14 traditional border points with China – The Hindu

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Published – March 31, 2024 02:28 am IST – Kathmandu
Nepal has urged China to reopen the 14 traditional border points with the Tibetan Autonomous Region not just for bilateral trade and commerce but for the movement of people too.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha also underscored the importance of exporting products from Nepal during a meeting with Wang Junzheng, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of China.
Mr. Shrestha, who is on his first visit to China after taking over office earlier in the month, was in Lhasa on Friday as part of his trip from March 25 to April 1 when he also urged the Chinese side for its cooperation to address issues facing the residents along the Nepal-China borders.
A press release from the Consulate General of Nepal in Lhasa said that Mr. Shrestha, during the meeting, reiterated the need for reopening of traditional border points for the promotion of trade and commerce as well as facilitating the movement of people.
He sought cooperation to make arrangements for the use of pastureland along the bordering areas, to provide entry passes for Nepali containers and electrification in Nepal's highlands, according to the MyRepublica news portal.
He recalled an agreement to resume 14 Nepal-China traditional transits during his meeting with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing two days ago and expected the facilitating role on behalf of Tibet’s administration to implement the understanding.
Mr. Shrestha also called on the Chinese side to make provisions for resuming the Kathmandu-Lhasa bus service, the report said.
He also underscored the importance of exporting products, including Haylage, cooked buffalo meat, and medicinal herbs among others to further strengthen economic cooperation.
Haylage is a type of nutritious animal feed.
“The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs further expressed the need to cooperate in the areas of infrastructure and connectivity including the transmission lines to further strengthen the bilateral ties,” The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported, quoting the statement.
The two leaders also discussed matters relating to expanding socio-economic cooperation, enhancing understanding and goodwill through high-level exchanges, consolidating the ongoing cooperation and exploring new areas of cooperation.
“Both the leaders discussed matters of mutual interest,” reiterated a post on X along with a photo by Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs late on Friday night after the meeting.
Earlier on March 26, the strategic partnership between the two countries was discussed during Shrestha’s meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang where China has also urged the new dispensation in Nepal to finalise the implementation plan for its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects that have struggled to make any headway due to continuous political changes in the Himalayan nation.
Posting about the meeting on social media platform X, Ambassador Chen Song, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, said: “The two sides agreed to reopen 14 traditional border trade points immediately, strengthen practical cooperation between two counties in such fields as trade, investment, tourism, and advance the bilateral relations to a new height.” Shrestha is also expected to visit the holy pilgrimage site of Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet during his visit, it was announced earlier last week.
Nepal / Tibet
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