Xi’s Nepal visit not cancelled, says China

Beijing, Sep 12 (IANS) China on Monday denied that President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal was cancelled, saying it was improper to say that.

“It is not proper to say that his visit to Nepal was cancelled. We can’t say if it is cancelled or not,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters here.

She said the two sides were in touch with each other.

Hua said China attaches great importance to its relationship with Nepal.

“We would like to promote new development of bilateral relations with Nepal,” she added.

According to some media reports, Xi cancelled his visit to the Himalayan nation in October because of Kathmandu’s lack of preparedness and its tilt towards New Delhi.

The reports also said China was miffed over the non-implementation of the deals clinched with Nepal when former Prime Minister K.P.Sharma Oli visited Beijing in March.

Nepal, too, has denied the reports.

“We are expecting the visit of the Chinese President, though the date of the visit has not yet been fixed,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat said earlier.

If it happens, this would be the Xi’s maiden visit to Nepal as China’s President.

After constitutional crisis in Nepal, the ever cordial relation between New Delhi and Kathmandu hit rock-bottom, pushing the latter close to Beijing.

(Gaurav Sharma is the Beijing-based IANS correspondent. He can be contacted at sharmagaurav71@gmail.com and gauravians@yahoo.com)

–IANS

gsh/ksk

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