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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Nepal Signs Transit Deal with China; 10 Agrements Signed
Mar 25, 2016

On his maiden visit to China close on the heels of his recent visit to India, Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli held wide-ranging talks with Chinese premier Li Keqiang and called on President Xi Jinping. The visit to China is the second foreign trip of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.

One month after he flew to India for a meeting, Prime Minister of Nepal arrived in Beijing. The purpose of his China visit was different from his India visit. He came to India to mend fences, and travelled China to explore new frontiers of trade and transit.

China and Nepal signed 10 agreements on March 21, including one on building a trans-border railway line through Tibet, as Nepal attempts to shrug off its dependence on India and strengthen cooperation with China.

  • Among the agreements was a transit trade deal that is expected to further reduce landlocked Nepal’s dependence on India for third-country trade. 98 per cent of Nepal’s third country trade goes through India and to the port of Kolkata. The transit and transportation treaty with China will give Nepal an option to use the next nearest Tianjin port in China that is 3,000 km from the Nepal border. Haldia port is 1,000 km away.

  • The other agreements signed include a feasibility study for a bilateral free trade agreement.

  • China also pledged a $216-million soft loan for construction of an international airport in Nepal’s second largest city of Pokhara.

  • A commercial bank in China has also agreed to open its office in Nepal.

  • Installation of solar grids in 32,000 houses.

  • Exploration of gas and petroleum in Nepal.

  • Construction of a bridge on the river Hilsa.

  • Nepal is also eager to use China’s sea ports.

  • Nepal suggested that there could be two new rail lines one connecting three Nepalese cities and another one across the Nepal-China border.

Nepali Prime Minister visited China at a time when Nepal has not fully recovered from the Indian blockade, and there is pressure on him to begin diversifying trade away fron India. The blockade of the border with India by Madhesi parties opposed to Nepal’s new Constitution forced Nepal to look for alternatives to end its complete reliance on its southern neighbour for petroleum products. Last October, Nepal Oil Corporation signed a framework agreement with Petro China on importing one-third of the country’s fuel requirements from China. NOC and Petro China had been directed to work out details on pricing, taxation, transportation and other issues before a formal deal was sealed. But the deal got stuck after Nepal sought the waiver of certain taxes.

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