China and Nepal have agreed to build a railway connecting the Tibetan city of Xigaze with the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, reports said on Friday.
The agreement is one of a raft of deals signed during a visit by Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli to Beijing, where he held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, among others (top photo).
According to a notice posted on China’s official government website, the two sides on signed more than 10 agreements on Thursday, covering the fields of technology, transport, infrastructure and political cooperation.
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Growing Chinese influence
The newspaper China Daily quoted Li as saying that China also wanted to enhance “cross-Himalayan connectivity” in cooperation with Nepal by improving links through aviation, trading ports, highways and telecommunications.
Oli, for his part, expressed his country’s support for China’s Belt and Road initiative, a global trade infrastructure project that is opposed by Nepal’s neighbor India.
New Delhi has been watching Beijing’s growing presence in Nepal in recent years with concern and has promised its own infrastructure projects as a counterbalance. However, it has so far not matched Beijing’s degree of investment in the small Himalayan nation.
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tj/kms (Reuters, AFP)