Kathmandu | Officials from Nepal and China have held a high-level meeting to discuss existing bilateral ties and cooperation and deliberated on the ways to further expand and consolidate cooperation in various areas like trade promotion, investment and connectivity.
The 15th meeting of the Bilateral Diplomatic Consultation Mechanism between the Foreign Ministries of Nepal and China was held in Beijing on Friday.
The two sides discussed existing bilateral ties and cooperation and deliberated on the ways to further expand and consolidate partnership in various areas such as economic cooperation, trade promotion, investment, tourism and connectivity among others.
The meeting also reviewed the progress of different infrastructure development projects under China's grant assistance as well as Chinese-contracted projects and agreed to expedite the implementation of the projects so as to complete them in time, according to a statement issued by Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
However, the statement did not mention Beijing's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which could not take off even six years after the two countries signed the agreement.
During the high-level meeting Bharat Raj Paudyal, Foreign Secretary of Nepal, and Sun Weidong, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, led their respective delegations to the meeting, the statement said.
“The meeting was held in an atmosphere of cordiality and friendship,” it said, adding the Vice Minister of China “admired Nepal's consistent adherence to 'one-China' policy and respect for the five principles of peaceful coexistence.” Foreign Secretary Paudyal appreciated the Chinese policy of non-interference and respect for Nepal's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence, the statement said.
“With a view to reducing the trade deficit, Foreign Secretary Paudyal proposed for the preferential treatment to Nepali primary products such as tea, coffee, herbal products, cooked buffalo meat, and other agricultural products,” according to the statement.
The Chinese side agreed to encourage Chinese investors to make the investment in mutually beneficial areas, adds the statement.
“The two sides discussed promoting people-to-people contacts and cultural cooperation, increasing the number of scholarships to Nepali students and professionals, and capacity development of technical experts, among others,“ the statement said.
The Foreign Secretary of Nepal appreciated the Government of China for enlisting Nepal as one of the outbound destination countries for group tourism, the ministry said.
"The two sides reviewed the cooperation between the two countries at the multilateral forums, including in the United Nations, and exchange of mutual support to each other's candidatures.” On Thursday, Nepal Foreign Secretary Paudyal called on China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang and discussed matters relating to strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation.
Paudyal is the first Nepali official to meet Qin, who was appointed as China's Foreign Minister in December last year.