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Nepal-China Relations

1. China and Nepal are close neighbors on the two sides of the Himalayan Mountains and have a long history of friendly ties. It is said that more than two thousand years ago, Manjushri came all the way from the Wutai Mountains in China to Nepal. He cut open the mountain with his sword and drained the water from the lake, thus creating the Kathmandu Valley. This beautiful legend gives vivid expression to the ardent desire of our two peoples for friendship. Historical records show that the friendly exchanges of China and Nepal date back to as early as the mid-7th century. At that time, China and Nepal already started exchanging emissaries. Fahien, a Chinese eminent monk in the Jin Dynasty and Huen Tsang, another Chinese eminent monk in the Tang Dynastry, came to Lumbini, birthplace of Lord Buddha, on pilgrimages. Songtsen Gompo, King of the Tubo Kingdom in the Tang Dynasty married a Nepalese princess Bhrikuti. The Nepalese artisan Arniko built a Buddhist pagoda in Lhasa in the Yuan Dynasty. The White Pagoda in Beijing's Miao Ying Temple was also built under his supervision. All these stories and historical facts show that China-Nepal traditional friendship is solidly based.

2. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1955, the friendship and cooperation between China and Nepal has opened a new chapter. This owes much to the commitment and dedication of several generations of Chinese and Nepalese leaders. Such friendship is a great asset of our two peoples. The leaders of, both past and present, have brought about the flowering of China-Nepal friendship with their wisdom, vision and unremitting efforts. Thanks to their untiring efforts made over half a century, exchanges and cooperation between China and Nepal in political, diplomatic, economic and trade, cultural, educational and other fields have borne rich fruit. Indeed, China-Nepal relations have become a model of friendly cooperation for countries of different social systems and neighboring countries to live in friendship and harmony.

3. To look back the friendly history of China-Nepal relations, three obvious characteristics can be easily concluded, which have enabled China-Nepal friendship to maintain its strong momentum of growth over the years.

The first is trust. The two countries never threat each other, harm each other or doubt each other; but always respect each other, believe each other and help each other. The Chinese Government and people firmly pursue the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, have never interfered with the internal affairs of Nepal and highly respect the road of development chosen by the Nepalese people. We believe that the Nepalese Government and people have the political wisdom and capabilities to solve their own problems. On our part, we appreciate the understanding, solidarity and support that the Government and people of Nepal have given to China in its endeavor for peaceful development.

The second is equality. The Chinese Government and people firmly pursue the principle that a country is equal with others no matter how big or small it is. Following that, China has all along developed relations on the base of equality with Nepal. We consistently support Nepal in its effort to safeguard sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. In the past 50 years, abiding by the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, through equal dialogue, communication and coordination, China and Nepal have made excellent cooperation and achieved great accomplishments in bilateral political relations, regional affairs and international forums.

The third is sincerity. China treats Nepal as its closest neighbor and best friend. Although China isn't a rich country, it has provided assistance and cooperation to Nepal in all the fields within its own capacity. Over the past 50 years, with China's financial and technical assistance, more than 30 projects have been completed in Nepal. As recognized by people of all circles in Nepal, these projects have played a constructive role in the social and economic development of Nepal. The Arniko Highway, the Ring Road, stadium and the Birendra International Convention Center, assisted by China, are among the best examples. In return, the Nepalese Government and people has shown friendly sentiments to China and delivered its valuable support to Chinese people. We highly appreciate the strong support Nepal has given to us over the years on the questions of Taiwan and Tibet and other major issues related to China's sovereign rights and interests.

4. In recent years, the relations between China and Nepal have developed more rapidly. The top leaders exchanged visits frequently and the two countries carried out cooperation smoothly.

In the political field, frequently high-level visits have greatly enhanced the mutual understanding and trust between our two countries. In the year of 2006 only, in which great changes took place in Nepal, H.E. Mr. Tang Jiaxuan, the State Councilor of China, H.E. Mr. Wu Dawei, Vice Foreign Minister, visited Nepal, expressing our strong and continuous support to Nepal despite of the changes in Nepal's politics. Likewise, Hon. Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, visited China, reiterating that the new Government of Nepal would insistently support China on the issue of Taiwan, Tibet and other issues of China's core interests. In January, 2007, H.E. Mr. Li Tieying, Deputy Speaker of National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, paid a visit to Nepal, which has strengthened the exchanges and cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries.

The bilateral economic and trade relations have kept a healthy developmental momentum. According to the Chinese Customs, the total trade volume in 2006 reached US$ 268 million, with 36.5% increase over previous year. During the bilateral visits in 2006, the Chinese Government has announced to provide grant assistance of RMB120 million and concessional loan of US$ 200 million to Nepal.

We are also glad to see that the people-to-people contacts between our two countries have unfolded rapidly and smoothly over the past years. In 2001, the two countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation, including Nepal into the list of the tourism destination for outbound Chinese travelers. Later on, the two countries signed "Air Service Agreement", according to which, Air China opened a direct air link between China and Nepal in 2004, by route of Chengdu-Lasha-Kathmandu. In addition, the China Southern Airline has also started operating air service between Guangzhou and Kathmandu since February, 2007. Likewise, the Nepal Airline is operating air service between Kathmandu and Shanghai, Kathmandu and Hongkong.

China and Nepal have also maintained sound coordination and cooperation in regional and international affairs such as peace, development, human rights and UN reform. We share the common views on many issues related to our mutual concern.

The relations between the two armies are an important component of the overall relations between China and Nepal. In the past years, the military relations and cooperation between China and Nepal have experienced continuous development. Nearly all the former Army Chiefs and Defense Secretaries of Nepal have visited China. The Defense Minister and the General Chief of Staff of China have also visited Nepal. China has rendered help and assistance to Nepal within its own capacity. The two armies have conducted good cooperation in personnel training as well. Since 1998, the Nepal Army has sent officers and soldiers to study in Chinese military universities. In the academic year of 2006/2007 in particular, 21 officers and soldiers of the Nepal Army went to China for training. China has also sent military officers to participate in the adventure trainings organized by the Nepal Army since 2002.

5. As looking across the globe, it is easy to come to the conclusion that peace, stability, cooperation and development are the calling of the times and the common aspiration of the mankind. Both China and Nepal face a historical opportunity to develop. By seizing this opportunity, the two neighboring countries should build on past achievements and push ahead to bring China-Nepal good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation to a new height. No matter what changes take place in Nepal, China's friendly policy towards Nepal will remain unchanged.

6. In recent years, Nepal has been affected by conflicts and instability. As an immediate neighbor and close friend of Nepal, China has shown great concern. We have also tried our best to play a constructive role in urging all sides in Nepal to solve problems through dialogues and talks. To our great joy, under the endeavors of diligent, sapiential and brave Nepalese people, Nepal is now heading to a road of peace, stability, economic development and social prosperity. The Chinese Government and people respect political system and road of development chosen by Nepalese people, and sincerely hope that all constitutional forces in Nepal will set store by the fundamental interest of the country and people, and seek to appropriately settle the current difficulties and problems through dialogues, based on the maintenance of Nepal's independence, sovereignty and national integrity. The Chinese Government welcomes the progress made in the peace process. We believe that all the concerned parties in Nepal would continue to push forward the peace process, benefit the Nepalese people and make contributions to the peace, stability and development of this region.

7. The Chinese Government will continue to pursue a policy of friendship towards Nepal and attach great importance to developing the comprehensive and friendly relations with Nepal. We are committed to developing friendship and partnership with our neighbors, and strive to become a good neighbor, partner and friend of them. This is a solemn and long-term pledge of the Chinese Government. China will never change its friendly policy towards Nepal irrespective of changes both internationally and in our two countries.

8. The Chinese Government is committed to pursuing cooperation with Nepal in all areas. As developing countries, China and Nepal are both faced with the arduous tasks of economic and national development. Strengthening cooperation of mutual benefit and promoting common development are our shared aspirations and serve our mutual interests. China is ready to increase friendly exchanges with the Nepalese Government, political parties and people of all walks of life, and expand bilateral exchanges and cooperation in politics, economy, trade, culture and tourism. China will continue to support economic and social development in Nepal to the best of its capacity.

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