Kathmandu, Nepal, September 16, 2019: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s possible visit to Nepal is begun to mark with much more fanfare terming it as of the greatest achievement of the government even though the exact date is yet to be finalized. The government has expedited its preparation believing that Chinese President Xi’s visit would happen sometime in upcoming October.
If it was happened as per the expectation of the Nepal government, it is likely that Chinese President Xi would land in Kathmandu on October 15 while returning to China after concluding his India visit. However, neither the government nor the Chinese sides have confirmed the date triggering a suspicion that Chinese President Xi’s scheduled visit to Nepal would be averted at any pretext.
Earlier in 2016 there was a similar kind of speculation that Chinese President Xi could visit Nepal when he had visited Bangladesh in October 2016. But his visit was cancelled abruptly. Chinese President Xi visited several other South Asian countries except Nepal during his first five-year tenure.
The government of Nepal has begun to set the plans and programs to make success the Chinese president Xi’s scheduled visit to Nepal. As part of its preparations to welcome President Xi, Global Convention of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) scheduled for October 13-16 in Kathmandu is differed upon the request of the government.
China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Nepal is also taken as of the preparatory visit to make ground the Chinese president Xi’s visit to Nepal. Following the Wang’s visit, the government seems confident to welcome Xi in Nepal.
As president level state visit of China is not made since 1996, the possible visit of the Chinese president Xi is taken importantly in the political as well as diplomatic level. Then Chinese President Jiang Zemin had visited Nepal in 1996.
The incumbent government believes that Chinese President Xi’s visit to Nepal would be the marvelous achievement even if he landed in Kathmandu. The NCP led incumbent government used to claim that they have become success to enhance relations with the northern neighbor China.
However, it seems that China is yet to be pleased by the Nepal government because no official decision is made yet to endorse the China’s must touted Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI).
It is likely that Chinese side would push for the signing of BRI project to justify Xi’s trip. However, the Nepal government has not made official decision to sign into the BRI.
As Neighboring India and another major developing partner USA is not in favor of the BRI, the government has also been hesitating to take final decision to endorse the BRI.
However, some insiders of the government claims preparations are going on for the agreement to enter into the BRI during Chinese President Xi’s visit to Nepal.
China has forwarded the concept of BRI claiming it as a purely economic cooperation initiative to promote mutual cooperation among various countries. However, the critics have opposed the BRI terming it as the Chinese strategy to trap other countries.