Factbox: China, Nepal cultivate bilateral relations for mutual benefit

Artists perform during the “Nepal Day” event of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 22, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Guifu)

Ties between China and Nepal have strengthened after 64 years of diplomatic relations. Both countries vow to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. Here are some key developments of the two countries’ ever-tightening bond:

BEIJING, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) — Ties between China and Nepal have strengthened after 64 years of diplomatic relations. Both countries vow to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.

The two countries pledged to enhance connectivity in key areas including ports, roads, railways, aviation and communications by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation Under the Belt and Road Initiative in May 2017 and agreeing to implement the MOU at the highest political levels.

Here are some key developments of the two countries’ ever-tightening bond:

— Bilateral trade volume between China and Nepal stood at 900 million U.S. dollars in the first eight months of this year, up 38.7 percent year on year.

People visit the booth of Nepal at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 7, 2018. (Xinhua/Chen Fei)

— China remains Nepal’s second largest trading partner, only after India. China’s exports to Nepal hit 875.33 million U.S. dollars, while imports were 25.2 million U.S. dollars in the January-August period, up 37.9 percent and 71.6 percent, respectively.

— Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari paid a state visit to China on April 29 and vowed to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China in various fields.

— Education is a key front of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. In 2019, Some 100 Nepalese students were awarded Chinese government scholarships to study in Chinese colleges. They will join the more than 6,400 Nepalese students currently pursuing education in China.

— Air travel is burgeoning between China and Nepal, with more than 50 round-trip flights per week between China and Nepal. The two countries in June signed an agreement on air traffic control to enhance bilateral cooperation in air service.

Nepal Army personnel load relief materials to a truck after a handover ceremony of China-aided medical supplies to Nepal in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 27, 2015. Chinese medical aid, including medical equipment, laboratory materials and other medical supplies, is worth 40 million Nepalese rupees (about 390,000 U.S. dollars). (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)

— Chinese companies took part in 25 projects to restore infrastructures and landmarks affected in a devastating earthquake that hit Nepal and parts of China’s Tibet in 2015, among which Kathmandu’s historic Durbar High School is scheduled to be rebuilt by January 2020.

— The Zham-Tatopani Border Port, which used to handle more than 90 percent of bilateral trade between China and Nepal, reopened on May 29 after four years out of service due to the 2015 earthquake.

— The main part of Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project, the first of its kind in Nepal, was completed almost one year ahead of schedule on April 17. The 12.2 km tunnel commissioned by the Nepalese government and constructed by a Chinese company will provide irrigation to 51,000 hectares of land in Banke and Bardiya districts.

— The financial front also saw fruitful results, as a consortium of five Nepalese commercial banks approved about 140 million U.S. dollars worth of credit to Hongshi Shivam Cement Private Limited, a China-Nepal joint venture.

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