Nepal Rejects Chinese Claim of Airport Built Under Belt and Road Project

0
246

Kathmandu: Nepal Foreign Minister NP Saud on Tuesday rejected the claims of the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal that an airport had been built under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Nepal.

FM Saud rejected the claims while addressing the International Relations and Tourism Committee stating the BRI project hasn’t been put into action in Nepal.

Time and again, the Chinese Ambassador has been claiming that the Pokhara International Airport was built under the BRI framework.

Saud, while addressing the committee meeting denied the Chinese Ambassador’s claim by saying that Nepal only has signed on the pact and no tangible plans or initiatives have been implemented so far.

Earlier this week, China’s statement that the Pokhara International Airport is its flagship project in Nepal under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) came as a surprise. Since then, confusion gripped Nepal’s diplomatic circles after China is unilaterally listing one project after another in Nepal under the Belt and Road Initiative, Nepal-based The Kathmandu Post reported.

China made the claim at the inauguration of the new airport by Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nishan Khatiwada wrote in The Kathmandu Post report. On June 22, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song in a post on Twitter wrote, “Warm congratulation to Wechat Pay Cross-board Payment Service Inauguration in Nepal. A new step forward in financial connectivity, one of the five “connectivities” under #BRI initiative.”

Earlier, last week too, while addressing the House of Representatives earlier, Nepal’s Foreign Minister NP Saud said clarifying, “The project implementation plan of the BRI is at a stage of discussion between Nepal and China. Not a single project in Nepal under the BRI has been executed. The project implementation plan of the BRI is still under consideration.”

The relations between China and Nepal have of late become a saga of an exchange of words where one side claims that a specific project is under the BRI while the other side says it is not. According to foreign policy experts, the confusion will not serve Nepal.

Following the framework agreement between Nepal and China on Belt and Road Initiative in 2017, Nepal had initially chosen 35 projects to be implemented under it. Later, the total number of projects was reduced to nine and the list did not include the Pokhara airport, which Beijing has now placed under BRI.

In 2016, the Nepal government signed a USD 215 million soft loan agreement with China for building a new airport in Pokhara without any mention of the BRI. As China has been placing its projects in Nepal under the Belt and Road Initiative, the two nations have not overtly agreed on whether the BRI projects will be loan-based or grant-based.

Even though Nepal has been asking for grants, the then-Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi on April 22 said that the BRI will include both grants and commercial loans, the report said. She further said that many projects that China is developing in Nepal fall under the BRI initiative.

FM Saud rejected the claims while addressing the International Relations and Tourism Committee stating the BRI project hasn’t been put into action in Nepal.

Time and again, the Chinese Ambassador has been claiming that the Pokhara International Airport was built under the BRI framework.

Saud, while addressing the committee meeting denied the Chinese Ambassador’s claim by saying that Nepal only has signed on the pact and no tangible plans or initiatives have been implemented so far.

Earlier this week, China’s statement that the Pokhara International Airport is its flagship project in Nepal under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) came as a surprise. Since then, confusion gripped Nepal’s diplomatic circles after China is unilaterally listing one project after another in Nepal under the Belt and Road Initiative, Nepal-based The Kathmandu Post reported.

China made the claim at the inauguration of the new airport by Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nishan Khatiwada wrote in The Kathmandu Post report. On June 22, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song in a post on Twitter wrote, “Warm congratulation to Wechat Pay Cross-board Payment Service Inauguration in Nepal. A new step forward in financial connectivity, one of the five “connectivities” under #BRI initiative.”

Earlier, last week too, while addressing the House of Representatives earlier, Nepal’s Foreign Minister NP Saud said clarifying, “The project implementation plan of the BRI is at a stage of discussion between Nepal and China. Not a single project in Nepal under the BRI has been executed. The project implementation plan of the BRI is still under consideration.”

The relations between China and Nepal have of late become a saga of an exchange of words where one side claims that a specific project is under the BRI while the other side says it is not. According to foreign policy experts, the confusion will not serve Nepal.

Following the framework agreement between Nepal and China on Belt and Road Initiative in 2017, Nepal had initially chosen 35 projects to be implemented under it. Later, the total number of projects was reduced to nine and the list did not include the Pokhara airport, which Beijing has now placed under BRI.

In 2016, the Nepal government signed a USD 215 million soft loan agreement with China for building a new airport in Pokhara without any mention of the BRI. As China has been placing its projects in Nepal under the Belt and Road Initiative, the two nations have not overtly agreed on whether the BRI projects will be loan-based or grant-based.

Even though Nepal has been asking for grants, the then-Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi on April 22 said that the BRI will include both grants and commercial loans, the report said. She further said that many projects that China is developing in Nepal fall under the BRI initiative.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here