Nepali officials have prepared a wish-list of 11 projects for Chinese President Xi Jinping when he makes a state visit to Kathmandu this weekend, during which China is said to preparing to announce a ‘Big Surprise’.
Parts of Kathmandu which President Xi will travel through during his visit on 12-13 October have got a hurried face-lift with streets being painted and swept, ungainly overhead wires bundled, and sidewalks festooned with flags and portraits of the leaders of the two countries.
Nepal’s 11-point agenda for Xi Jinping include mainly infrastructure projects like new highways from Kathmandu to multiple points on the Chinese border, including to Rasuwa. But the surprise gift is expected to be an announcement on the extension of the Tibet Railway from Kerung to Kathmandu.
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Prime Minister KP Oli and Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali held a four-hour discussion with former prime ministers and officials in Baluwatar on Thursday during which they advised the government not to sell out the national interest to Beijing, and not to fall into a Chinese ‘debt trap’.
The spokesman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Narayan Kaji Shrestha later explained that the primary agenda of the visit will be ‘connectivity’ with new crossborder roads in Kimathanka in eastern Nepal, the Korala border point in Mustang, repairs of the Kodari and Rasuwa highways that were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake.