KATHMANDU: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met his Nepalese counterpart Pradeep Kumar Gyawali here on Monday and the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral ties with special focus on economic cooperation. Foreign Minister Wang, who arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday, is on a three-day official visit to Nepal.
The two sides are expected to sign two agreements related to educational and economic cooperation during the visit, an official said. Various important issues, including the implementation of the past agreements reached between the two countries, review of bilateral relations and the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Nepal are expected to have figured in the talks, the official said.
Wang will also call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. The Chinese leader will return home on Tuesday. China has been investing heavily in Nepal in the last few years to enhance the connectivity and infrastructure.
In June last year, China and Nepal signed eight agreements for developing major infrastructure projects in the land-locked Himalayan nation to further deepen bilateral ties.
Nepal Prime Minister Oli, during his brief tenure in 2016 widened China-Nepal ties by signing the transit trade treaty with China to reduce the dependence of his land-locked country on India at the height of the Madhesis agitation. He sought the expansion of road links through Tibet besides extension of China's railway to Nepal through the Himalayas.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in Beijing that China and Nepal were "comprehensive cooperative partners" with everlasting friendship. "In recent years under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), we have stepped up efforts to build cross Himalayan, all dimensional connectivity network," he said, referring to infrastructure projects linking Tibet with Nepal.
The two countries are also discussing plans to extend the Chinese railway network in Tibet to Nepal. "Our cooperation in all sectors is growing rapidly," Geng said referring to Nepalese President Bhandari's recent visit to Beijing during which the two countries signed the protocol to operationalise transit treaty for Nepal to access Chinese ports. "This visit by State Councillor Wang is to implement our leaders' consensus and promote the exchange of cooperation as well as all-round development of bilateral relations," he said.