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China Plays Crucial Role in Nepal's Reconstruction after Earthquakes: Ambassador
   2016-04-25 20:15:58    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Niu Honglin

China provided immediate assistance to Nepal after a deadly earthquake hit the Himalayan nation last April.

During a recent interview with China Radio International, Nepal's Ambassador to China has expressed gratitude to the Chinese people, as well as hopes for his country's reconstruction.

 

Nepalese Ambassador to China Mahesh Kumar Maskey said he can clearly remember the timely condolences from the Chinese leadership and the assistance from China after his country was hit by major earthquakes last spring.

"After the earthquakes broke out, both the Chinese government and the people lent us a warm hand. Chinese leaders including Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang as well as Foreign Minster Wang Yi extended condolences to us, along with timely arrival of both relief materials and donated funds. The great help from China will be remembered by Nepal with gratitude."

Last year's twin earthquakes in Nepal claimed more than 9,000 lives, in addition to injuring 22,000 others. Close to one million homes were also destroyed in a country with 28 million people

Maskey admitted there are still many challenges facing the country nearly one year after the quakes. He says China is expected to play a key and consistent role in Nepal's reconstruction.

"Transportation is still a severe obstacle. The limited capacity of the only airport in Nepal's capital has been a major problem that hampered the relief operation and the reconstruction, while the road links between Nepal and China and India as well as between different areas of Nepal itself need improving urgently. All of these are priorities of the current reconstruction, in which China is expected to play an important role."

Nepal and China had sealed 10 separate agreements and Memorandums of Understanding during a recent visit by Nepalese prime minister Sharma Oli to Beijing.

The deals included a Transit Transport Agreement and a Joint Feasibility Study of Free Trade Agreement.

The Ambassador says the deals are vital not only for his country's reconstruction, but also for its future development.

"The cooperation covers multiple areas. The cooperation in the field of transportation, for instance, includes air service, road and railway. It will not only boost Nepal's trade with China, but also facilitate Nepal's attempt to join in the economic cooperation in Central Asia and Southeast Asia, while the energy cooperation will greatly ease the current fuel shortage in Nepal."

In its latest step of reconstruction, Nepal announced earlier this month a five-year strategic plan to develop major infrastructure projects including highways, roads, bridges and railways.

A top priority of the plan is to rebuild the Arniko Highway, a key link between Nepal and China, which suffered severe damage after last April's earthquake.

The plan also laid out the construction of two economic corridors in the eastern and western regions of Nepal respectively.

It's reported the two passages will pass through Nepal and eventually connect the country with China in the north and India in the South.

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