March 07th, 2016

 APECF boosts Sino-Nepalese relations to a new level

(From China Report) From February 12 to 16, 2016, a delegation from Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APECF) led by Mr. Xiao Wuan, Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, visited Nepal at the invitation of relevant institutions in Nepal. The delegation met with high ranking officials and all walks of life of Nepal, exchanging ideas about strengthening economic and cultural exchanges and promoting a new phase in bilateral relations. They reached a wide range of consensuses and many cooperation intents.

On the evening of February 13, Mr. Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Nepal’s Prime Minister, and Mr. Bishnu Prasad Paudel, Minister of Finance of Nepal, met the delegation led by Mr. Xiao Wunan at the Nepali Prime Minister’s office in Kathmandu. Prime Minister Oli praised Mr. Xiao Wunan for his positive influence in promoting Sino-Nepalese bilateral relations and his strategic views. Prime Minister Oli said he had high expectations of his visit to China, and hoped it could reach the height of 8,848 meters. He hoped Nepal and APECF could cooperate on Nepal’s infrastructure construction, environment protection, development of new energy, agriculture, tourism and other fields. Prime Minister Oli also paid high attention to the development and construction of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. He hoped that through APECF, Nepal could cooperate with more international powers to promote development and reconstruction to help earthquake-stricken areas to recover as soon as possible.

On February 14, the delegation led by Mr. Xiao Wunan, Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, paid a courtesy call on two important cabinet members respectively at the official residences of the deputy prime minister and the minister for forests and soil conservation. They said the government of Nepal has paid high attention to the “Lunbini Recovery Plan” and hoped to promote its progress. Mr. Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, proposed cooperation in power transmission and transformation between China and Nepal, and invited APECF to participate in planning and introduce Chinese private capital to participate in investment and construction.

Mr. Xiao Wunan said Nepal is small country, but because of its unique geographical position and strategic value, it could not be neglected. Mr. Xiao Wunan said after Nepal became a founding member of the newly established Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, Nepal’s special value as part of China’s “Go Global” policy and “One Belt, One Road” Initiative would be increased. Sino-Nepali relations would also hopefully reach a new level after Prime Minister Oli’s visit to China. Mr. Xiao Wunan suggested that on the basis of traditional friendship between China and Nepal, the two sides could strengthen investment and cooperation in energy, transportation and infrastructure construction, promote exchanges and cooperation on religion, tourism, culture and other fields of humanities to let youth of both countries understand each other better..

Entrusted by Mr. Xiao Wunan, Mr. Zhou Jiong, Deputy Secretary General of APECF, led a delegation to intensively exchange ideas with Nepal Airlines, major commonweal organizations of Nepal, Chinese companies in Nepal and major religious group. This visit achieved fruitful results. Mr. Xiao Wunan, Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, praised this visit as “warming up before taking off”, which will establish an important foundation for better exchanges and cooperation between Nepal and China.

APECF aims to promote exchanges and cooperation between China and Nepal, and the world in the long term, and has achieved fruitful results and high praise from the international community. In 2011, APECF proposed the “Lumbini Recovery Plan”. This plan was extolled as “waking up a millennia-old sacred place”. On August 2011, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, met Mr. Colin Heseltine, a Co-Chairman of APECF, in Sydney, and listen to a report about the plan, and highly praised it as the solution the United Nations had searched for many years. He considered this plan as the only way to realize the protection and development of “Lumbini”. After 5 years, Lumbini was put on the world map.

On February, 2012, during the High-Level Working Session of UN-Habitat in New York, Mr. Xiao Wunan introduced details of the “Lumbini Recovery Plan” to attendees, and received praise from Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of the UN-Habitat and Undersecretary-General of the United Nations, who expressed that UN-Habitat would fully support this project. After that, Mr. Xiao Wunan extensively travelled the world, across different regions, religions and cultures, and earned worldwide support, including that of HRH Prince Charles, the Saudi Royal Family, and the Rockfeller family. They pledged to take part in the plan. People in religious, academic and industrial circles and many Buddhists supported and participated in this project through different means, and frequently went to Lumbini for research, study, tourism and pilgrimage. After that, China-Neapli Culture Year was designated as “Lumbini-Buddha Cultural Tour”.

It is generally recognized by international community that the recent prosperity of “Lumbini” is closely linked to the continuous promotion and innovation by APECF and Mr. Xiao Wunan.

We believe Lumbini will enter a new chapter in the future through the new phase of Sino-Nepali relations.

Mr. Xiao Wunan (left), Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, meets Mr. Top Bahadur Rayamajhi (center), Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy.

Mr. Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli (second from right), Nepali Prime Minister, Mr. Xiao Wunan (third from right), Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, and Mr. Bishnu Prasad Paudel (first from right), Minister of Finance of Nepal, pose for a group photo.