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China, Nepal agree on trans-Himalayan railway

Kathmandu :

China has agreed to finance a feasibility study for a cross-border railway with Nepal under the trans-Himalayan multi-dimensional connectivity network, part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and pledged $118 million for China-assisted projects in the country, the foreign ministries of the two countries have said.

China will send experts to conduct surveys for the railway this year, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday.

This was agreed during a meeting between Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, Wang Yi, and his Nepalese counterpart, Narayan Khadka, in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao on Wednesday, Wang Wenbin, ministry spokesperson said at a media briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

“As I said just now, the two foreign ministers during their talks agreed to build a cross Himalaya, multidimensional connectivity network. State councillor Wang said that China will use funds, assist Nepal to support feasibility study for the railway and within the year experts will be dispatched to Nepal for exploration,” spokesperson Wang said.

Wang said China will work with Nepal on power projects and also in building cross Himalayan connectivity projects.

Foreign minister Wang’s pledges are part of China’s outreach to south Asian countries as Beijing expands its influence in the region.

President Xi Jinping had visited Nepal in October, 2019, when bilateral ties were upgraded to a “strategic partnership”.

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