Nepal PM to support new Silk Road during China visit | Reuters

By Gopal Sharma | KATHMANDU KATHMANDU Nepal's prime minister is set to throw his support behind Beijing's initiative to build a modern-day Silk Road across Asia during a six day trip to China starting on Thursday, in a move that could upset traditional regional powerhouse India.Beijing is jostling to increase its influence in Nepal, which serves as a natural buffer between China and India.China, which has invested in hospitals, roads, hydropower projects and airports in Nepal, is keen to include it in President Xi Jinping's flagship 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR) initiative to link Asia with Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Prime Minister Prachanda, a former chief Maoist rebel commander, will discuss energy cooperation, investment and the OBOR programme with the Chinese leader, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat said. “We’ll express our commitment to join the OBOR initiative,” Rishi Adhikari, an aide to Prachanda, told Reuters. The leader is on his first visit to China since his election in August.India, which has a festering border dispute with China, has looked at the latter's ambitions in South Asia including Nepal with concern

Reuters March 23, 2017 20:52:56 IST
Nepal PM to support new Silk Road during China visit
| Reuters

Nepal PM to support new Silk Road during China visit
 Reuters

By Gopal Sharma
| KATHMANDU

KATHMANDU Nepal's prime minister is set to throw his support behind Beijing's initiative to build a modern-day Silk Road across Asia during a six day trip to China starting on Thursday, in a move that could upset traditional regional powerhouse India.Beijing is jostling to increase its influence in Nepal, which serves as a natural buffer between China and India.China, which has invested in hospitals, roads, hydropower projects and airports in Nepal, is keen to include it in President Xi Jinping's flagship "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) initiative to link Asia with Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Prime Minister Prachanda, a former chief Maoist rebel commander, will discuss energy cooperation, investment and the OBOR programme with the Chinese leader, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat said.

“We’ll express our commitment to join the OBOR initiative,” Rishi Adhikari, an aide to Prachanda, told Reuters. The leader is on his first visit to China since his election in August.India, which has a festering border dispute with China, has looked at the latter's ambitions in South Asia including Nepal with concern.

India is still the landlocked Himalayan nation's biggest trading partner, donor and supplier of essential goods, as well as the only source of fuel for the impoverished country.In October, Xi avoided Nepal during a South Asian tour amid Nepali media reports that Prachanda’s government was growing closer to India and going slow on the China deals made by his communist predecessor last year.

Kunda Dixit, editor of Nepali Times, said China had advised Nepali leaders not to try to play Beijing against New Delhi.“So Prachanda will have to tread carefully not to ruffle feathers in Delhi and to make Beijing too anxious,” Dixit told Reuters.Visiting Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan, in a meeting with Nepali counterpart Bal Krishna Khand on Thursday, said China would continue to support the Nepal Army in disaster management, U.N. peace keeping operations and development work, a Defence Ministry spokesman said. (Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.