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Nepal, China sign 7 major agreements

April 30, 2019

Chhenath Acharya, My Republica, April 30, 2019

Protocol on Implementing Agreement on Transit Transport gives Nepal access to the sea. China has pledged to provide 1 billion Yuan to develop China-aided projects in Nepal.

BEIJING, April 30: Nepal and China have inked seven different agreements including Protocol on Implementing Agreement on Transit Transport during the state of visit of President Bidya Devi Bhandari to China.

The agreements were signed after an official meeting between President Bhandari and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of People on Monday. President Bhandari and President Xi had witnessed the signing ceremony of the agreements.

Among the agreements reached between the two countries on Monday, the Protocol on Implementing Agreement on Transit Transport is considered an important agreement. While Foreign Minister Pradip Kumar Gyawali signed the agreement on behalf of Nepal, Chinese Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng signed in it on behalf of the Chinese government.

Although the protocol agreement was under discussion between the two countries for over four decades, Nepal had failed to ink the deal as Nepal because signing the Agreement on Transit Transport with China was still pending. During the visit of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to China three years ago, Nepal and China had reached a historic agreement on trade and transit.

Officials of both Nepal and China had worked on finalizing the Protocol on Implementing Agreement on Transit Transport as this is required to bring the transit transport agreement into implementation.

The Nepali side had failed to actively pursue the protocol agreement as the government led by Oli was toppled down shortly after his return home from China. Although the Nepali side had wanted to sign the protocol agreement during Oli's second visit to China last year, this could not happen due to lack of adequate homework.

The transit protocol reached with China on Monday has given Nepal access to sea without passing through the Indian territory. The 17-point protocol agreement mentions that Nepal will be able to trade with China through various six customs points, namely Tatopani, Kerung, Kimathanka, Korala, Yari and Olangchunggola. Three trade routes—Olangchunggola, Kimathanka, and Korala—are yet to be opened officially.

Although the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 had provided landlocked Nepal with unhindered access to sea, the failure on the part of Nepal to reach the Transport and Transit Agreement had made it unable to utilize the facility given by the UN Convention.

Nepal and China also exchanged minutes of meeting on Strengthening Assistance Co-operation in the Field of Livelihood in the Northern Region of Nepal on Monday. As per the agreement, China has agreed to provide 1 billion Yuan (ie approximately Rs 16.5 billion) to develop China-aided projects in Nepal. The grant assistance being provided by China to Nepal has increased significantly after Nepal was hit by catastrophic earthquakes in 2015.

Nepal and China have also reached an agreement on economic and technical cooperation.

Lal Shankar Ghimire, revenue secretary at the Ministry of Finance signed the agreement on behalf of Nepal while chairman of China International Development Co-operation Agency Wang Xiaotao signed the agreement on behalf of China.

China also handed over certificate of Grant-Aid for the Repair and Reinforcement Project of the Existing China-aided Projects while the two countries exchanged minutes of meeting on Strengthening Assistance Co-operation in the Field of Livelihood in the Northern Region of Nepal. Agreement on Co-operation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Co-operation on Standardization between Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) and Standardization Administration of China (SAC) and Agreement on Preventing the Theft, Clandestine Excavation and Illicit Import and Export of Cultural Property were also among the agreements reached between the two countries.

1 Protocol on Implementing Agreement on Transit Transport

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali

Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng

2 Handover Certificate of Grant-Aid for the Repair and Reinforcement Project of the Existing China-aided Projects

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali

Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan

3 Agreement on Economic and Technical Co-operation

Secretary (Revenue), Ministry of Finance Lal Shanker Ghimire

Chairman of China International Development Co-operation Agency Wang Xiaotao

4 Minutes of Meeting on Strengthening Assistance Co-operation in the Field of Livelihood in the Northern Region of Nepal

Lal Shanker Ghimire, Secretary (Revenue), Ministry of Finance

Wang Xiaotao, Chairman of China International Development Co-operation Agency

5 Agreement on Co-operation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters

Lal Shanker Ghimire, Secretary (Revenue), Ministry of Finance

Ambassador of China to Nepal Hou Yanqi

6 MoU on Co-operation on Standardization between Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) and Standardization Administration of China (SAC)

Ambassador of Nepal to China Leela Mani Paudyal

Ambassador of China to Nepal Hou Yanqi

7 Agreement on Preventing the Theft, Clandestine Excavation and Illicit Import and Export of Cultural Property

Ambassador of Nepal to China Leela Mani Paudyal

Administrator of National Cultural Heritage Administration Liu Yuzhu

Source: https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/nepal-china-sign-7-major-agreements/