Oli to clinch key deals during next week’s China visit


Beijing, Mar 18: Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will visit China next week during which he was expected to finalise agreements on importing fuel and gas besides transit and transportation deal to facilitate entry of Chinese goods into the land-locked country through Tibet.

Oli will visit China on March 20 to attend Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told media here on Thursday.

Chinese official media earlier reported from Kathmandu that Oli may clinch Transit and Transportation Agreement on importing fuel and gas from China to reduce dependence on oil imports from India.

“The upcoming visit will be the highest-level interaction between China and Nepal since establishment of the new Nepalese government last October,” Lu said.

Chinese leaders will meet with Oli to exchange views on bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern, he said.

Earlier Oli, whose Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (United Marxist Leninist) advocates closer ties with China, was expected to visit China ahead of India, breaking from the past tradition of Nepalese Prime Ministers visiting India first.

However, Oli later opted to visit India as his government opened new initiatives to address the demands of the Indian- origin Madhesis protesters, who had blocked Nepal’s trade routes with India for months.

While Oli’s government accused India of imposing an unofficial blockade to back the Madhesis, it sought China’s support to import essential oil and gas supplies to ease the scarcities.

China has supplied 1000 MT of petroleum products at the height of Madhesi agitation to Nepal through the Tibet border.

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