Kathmandu: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived here on Friday on a three-day official visit during which he will hold talks with Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other top leaders.

Wang, who is also a State Councilor, is visiting Kathmandu at the invitation of his Nepalese counterpart Narayan Khadka.

This is the first visit of a high-ranking Chinese official to Nepal since Nepali Congress President Deuba became the Prime Minister in July last year for a record fifth time.

Wang, who arrived here from New Delhi, started his trip from Pakistan, followed by unannounced visits to Afghanistan and India.

During his stay in Kathmandu, he will also call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari, MyRepublica newspaper reported.

The two sides are likely to ink some agreements on economic and technical assistance.

Citing officials familiar with the visit preparations, the Kathmandu Post said that as many as 10 agreements related to technical and economic assistance to Nepal are likely to be signed during Wang’s visit.

The visit of China’s top diplomat is seen with much interest as it takes place shortly after the parliamentary ratification of USD 500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact Agreement a US-funded grant agreement. Sources said China did not want Nepal to ratify the MCC compact agreement.

Under the MCC programme, the US government will provide the grant assistance which will be mainly utilised on strengthening Nepal’s transmission line and also improve the country’s road networks.

Nepal’s Leftist political parties opposed the pact, saying it was not in national interest and that it was meant for countering China.

Prime Minister Deuba in December underlined the need to ratify the grant assistance from the US under the MCC by forging consensus among all political parties, asserting that the programme is not against the national interest.

High-ranking leaders of major political parties have underlined that Wang’s visit should be used as an opportunity to improve relations between Nepal and China, the daily reported.

During Wang’s visit, the Chinese side has expressed its desire to finalise the Belt and Road Initiative Project Implementation Agreement. Both sides are expected to agree on the text of the project implementation plan, which will pave the way for the execution of BRI projects.

Also read | Nepal will not allow its territory to be used against neighbours: Cabinet



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