China reaches out to Nepal’s Prachanda, extends support

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Kathmandu, July 29 (IANS) China has reached out to Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, assuring full cooperation and support to the new government if he is elected the new Prime Minister.

Chinese Ambassador Wu Chuntai on Friday held a meeting with Dahal, commonly known as ‘Prachanda’, in what is seen as Beijing’s desperate move to safeguard its interests in Nepal and in carrying out the deals reached between Beijing and Kathmandu in March.

China had already said in a statement that the change of regime in Kathmandu would not affect its ties with Nepal and it will hone its engagement with the new government in Nepal.

In the meeting the Chinese envoy, according to a statement, Prachanda assured that deals, agreements and MoUs signed by the outgoing Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli government with China will be carried out and implemented.

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In March, during Oli’s official visit Nepal and China signed first ever Transit and Transportation Agreement that sought to end Nepal’s decades long dependency on — and monopoly of — Indian ports to reach out to a third country for trade.

Dahal took up the ownership of agreements, saying they were made by the coalition government that included the Maoist party too. He went on to say the recent Nepal-China agreements were, in fact, an outcome of the agreement made by the government that he led earlier.

The new government would not only implement the recent agreements but also make new ones with China, according the statement.

Besides transit and transportation, Nepal and China agreed on energy cooperation, free trade area, connectivity, tourism, financial cooperation, exploration of petroleum products and import from China.

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In the meeting with Wu, Prachanda told the visiting Chinese envoy that he is “all set to become the new PM” and sought favour of China and support to his government.

While congratulating Dahal, the Chinese ambassador said “the Chinese government, Chinese people and Chinese Communist Party will work with new government in Nepal”.

The resignation of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on July 24 paved the way for Prachanda to become the 39th Prime Minister of the Himalayan nation after the Nepali Congress and Madhes-based parties pledged to support him.

(Anil Giri can be reached at [email protected])



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