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Chinese speaker Li Zhanshu scheduled to visit Kathmandu on September 12

WION
KathmanduWritten By: Saloni MurarkaUpdated: Sep 02, 2022, 02:49 PM IST
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This is the third high-level visit to Nepal from China in six months. Earlier in March, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, who is also the State Councilor of China, had visited Kathmandu and discussed a wide range of bilateral issues with the top political leadership.

Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, is scheduled to visit Kathmandu on September 12 on a three-day visit.

As per sources, Li is visiting Nepal on the invitation extended by the speaker of the House of Representatives Agni Sapkota.

Li will call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Speaker Agni Sapkota and other key party leaders.

This is the third high-level visit from China in six months. Earlier in March, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, who is also the State Councilor of China, visited Kathmandu and discussed a wide range of bilateral issues with the top political leadership.

In July, the foreign department chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Liu Jianchao, arrived in Kathmandu and held talks with all major political stakeholders, including communist party leaders.

In August, Nepal foreign minister Narayan Khadka visited Qingdao, China, and met his counterpart, Wang, during which a wide range of bilateral issues, including border issue, were discussed. 

However, there has not been any official announcement of the visit. As per sources, both sides are preparing for the visit. 

The senior Chinese legislator’s visit is taking place just when the Himalayan nation is heading towards the General Election scheduled in November. The Chinese leadership has been encouraging the Nepali communist leaders, particularly CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre), for forging an alliance ahead of the elections.

China is publicly expressing dissatisfaction with the growing American influence in Nepal, especially after the approval of Nepal's agreement with the American Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). 

Earlier in February, during a press conference, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin accused the US of employing 'coercive diplomacy" against Nepal on MCC.

"China welcomes the international community to cooperate with Nepal, contribute to Nepal's economic development and livelihood improvement, but this should be done based on Nepalese people's willingness without political conditions," the Chinese spokesperson had said then.

On April, 22, Li held a virtual meeting with Sapkota, during which both “extended invitations to visit each other’s countries at mutually convenient time in future”.

As per Nepal foreign ministry, the two sides exchanged in-depth views on various aspects of Nepal-China relations and underscored the need to have frequent exchanges of high-level visits between the parliaments of the two countries.