Kathmandu, July 12
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, says China has established the China-South Asian Countries Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Development Centre with the consent of five South Asian countries including Nepal.
Speaking at a virtual press conference from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu this morning, the ambassador said foreign affairs ministers of Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka had consented to establish the centre during a virtual meeting hosted by their Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on April 27.
The ambassador was of the view that the Beijing government wanted to share its development lessons with developing countries in South Asia.
Hou’s statement comes at a time when the Nepali media are covering the establishment of the centre as a fresh Chinese effort to expand its influence in the region.
Meanwhile, the ambassador has hinted that the Nepal-China bilateral trade could not go back to normal as long as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
She acknowledged frequent obstructions in the trade and transportation of supplies via Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi but blamed the pandemic for that.
Responding to a journalist’s question, she said local administrative units on the Chinese side could impose some restrictions to control the virus spread while ensuring a one-way cargo supply to Nepal.
“This is not a political issue but just a technical one,” she said.