JUNE 23, 2018
Nepal can be a bridge between India and China as it wants to leverage its friendship with both the countries to boost its own development, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said.
Oli, currently on a visit to Beijing, said in an interview with state-run Global Times tabloid that Nepal has “broad, comprehensive and multi-faceted” relations with India and China.
“We believe that Nepal can serve as a bridge between our two neighbors. In fact, we want to move from the state of a land-locked to a land-linked country through the development of adequate cross-border connectivity. Our friendship with both neighbors places us in an advantageous position to realize this goal,” he said.
Since the Left Alliance led by him had formed government in February, Nepal had intensified engagements with both its neighbors, Oli said. “In this short span of time, there have been exchanges of prime ministerial visits between Nepal and India and I now visit China,” he added.
Both India and China “receive top priority” in Nepal’s foreign policy, he said.
Nepal and China have signed several agreements on infrastructure development and connectivity during Oli’s visit, including one on a feasibility study for a railway link between the Tibetan city of Xigaze and Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.
The two sides signed more than 10 agreements covering technology, transportation and political cooperation.
Oli said Nepal is focussed on fulfilling its developmental needs.
“Nepal’s developmental needs are immense and we can materialize our dreams for growth and prosperity only through meaningful and mutually beneficial economic partnership with both our neighbors,” he said.
“Fortunately for us, both our neighbors are rising in global stature and making tremendous progress in every area of development. They are in a position to support Nepal in its developmental journey.”
Oli, however, singled out China while talking about expanding cooperation in connectivity.
“There is a very good prospect for expanding cooperation between Nepal and China…Development cannot take place without investment in vital infrastructure and productive sectors,” he said.
“Connectivity remains at the core of economic prosperity. Here, our friendly neighbor, China, can help us a lot.”
China, Oli said, has the resources and capacity to help Nepal achieve its development goals.