China’s top leadership led by President Xi Jinping on Saturday said that Beijing had always treated Kathmandu as an equal and said it will work towards continuous peaceful ties with Nepal by working with his counterpart in the kingdom—Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
Xi said the two countries have “…always respected each other, treated each other as equals, enhanced political mutual trust and deepened mutually beneficial cooperation”.
Xi said the two sides have stuck together through “thick and thin and stood shoulder to shoulder in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak and have written a new chapter of friendship between China and Nepal”.
Jinping and Bhandari were exchanging congratulatory messages on the two countries completing 65 years of diplomatic relations.
The statement from Xi comes amid some western nations thwarting China over it imposing the national security law on Hong Kong, its mistreatment of Uighur Muslims and its claims over the South China Sea.
Nepal welcomes the “China-proposed vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and actively participates in the cooperation on the co-building of the Belt and Road,” Bhandari said.
Separately, Premier Li Keqiang talked about enhanced “mutual trust and friendship” between China and Nepal with his counterpart, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
Nepal has also supported China’s Belt Road Initiative, even as its neighbour India opposes it.
The exchange of pleasantries comes amid Kathmandu finding itself right in the middle of the broader Sino-India rivalry in the region. Nepal is in the middle of a diplomatic turmoil over the disputed Kalapani border with India. Oli has also claimed that political rivals within the ruling party are colluding with India to oust him.