Nepali Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli, while speaking to the press in Kathmandu Airport, stated that his visit to China had ‘further enhanced the friendship and bilateral cooperation between the two countries in wide-ranging areas including cross-border rail and road connectivity’, reported news agency PTI.
During his six day visit to China, Oli held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, signing a memorandum of understanding to build a strategic railway link connecting Tibet with Kathmandu through the Himalayan terrain. Both sides agreed to implement the verdict they had reached during Oli’s visit in 2016.
The link will connect the Gyirong trading port in the city of Xigaze in Tibet with the Nepali capital Kathmandu.
“The agreements on railways, energy, transportation, infrastructure development, tourism, among others, have prepared the outline for long-term economic assistance ,” he said. It is considered to be an important visit, as it will boost cross-border connectivity between Nepal and China.
He also said that the visit would enhance the friendship and political relations between the two countries. He has invited the Chinese President, who promises to visit at an appropriate time. China has assured the country that it will provide necessary assistance and support for Nepal to fulfill its aim of attaining prosperity and development.
The country has also agreed to explore, study and find the feasibility of natural gas and petroleum products and build necessary infrastructure for its storage.
The main opposition leader, Nepali Congress (NC)’s Mahat said that ‘Nepal cannot pay back the loan if such a loan is taken for constructing railways in the country as the cost of such projects would exceed the annual capital expenditure of Nepal.’
“We should urge both China and India to build railways in Nepal under their grant assistance. We can’t pay the loan back if we start constructing railway on our own it would need a huge investment and it would take decades or even a century to get returns from such mega projects,” Mahat reported to My Republica.
Earlier, Oli had visited China in 2016, signing a transit trade treaty to reduce dependence on India for transporting goods to Nepal.