June 30th, 2023

Build a new fulcrum for regional cooperation in South Asia

(From chinareport.com, Correspondent Li Chuanjun) At 18:00 pm local time on June 17, Kathmandu, Prachanda, Chairman of the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Center) and Prime Minister of the Nepalese government, met with a delegation led by Xiao Wunan, Executive Vice Chairman of the Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation (APECF), at the Prime Minister’s Office. The two sides conducted extensive exchanges and in-depth discussions on topics of common interest and South Asian regional cooperation, and reached a high degree of consensus on some strategic issues.

Nepalese Prime Minister Prachanda (Right), meets with and Xiao Wunan,

Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, at the Prime Minister’s Office

Prachanda first reviewed the friendship with Xiao Wunan for nearly 20 years and witnessed the development history of the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Center) and the procedure of obtaining the ruling status through the peace process. Xiao Wunan also recalled his friendship with Prachanda and the main leaders of the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Center) in different periods, as well as many events that took place during their transition from the revolutionary path to the peace process.

Prachanda pointed out that the current political situation in Nepal is stable, and the next step is to focus on economic development, and put forward several ideas: first, in view of the shared historical, cultural and geopolitical origins among Nepal, India and China, it is hoped that Nepal can give full play to the advantages of the two major countries in regional development and jointly build an economic belt focusing on economic development, cultural exchange and regional prosperity; second, the Nepalese government will strongly support the construction of railways and Lumbini International Airport to drive Nepal’s comprehensive development by increasing the promotion of infrastructure construction; finally, as the ruling party, the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Center) is very concerned about people’s well-being and the improvement of people’s living conditions in poor areas, and will make more efforts in livelihood projects, including water supply, health care and education. Meanwhile, Prachanda stressed that Nepal is a country rich in water resources, which can drive the development of ecology, agriculture and regional economy through the comprehensive utilization and development of water resources.

Xiao Wunan congratulated Prachanda on his election as prime minister, and highly agreed with Prachanda’s view that Nepal has become a link and bridge connecting China and India, and jointly inject new strength into regional cooperation in South Asia. Xiao Wunan proposed to establish the South Asia Joint Development Fund and the South Asia Open Forum, and create a long-term platform and mechanism to stabilize and continuously promote this work. At the same time, Xiao Wunan also suggested that Nepal could take the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and global carbon neutrality goals as benchmarks; especially in the field of new infrastructure construction, Nepal could take the concepts of new energy development, ecological construction and circular economy as strategic considerations, give full play to Nepal’s natural resource advantages, give priority to high value-added agricultural planting, theme tourism and Buddhist culture, and especially take Buddhist culture as the core and focus.

Prachanda appreciated Xiao Wunan’s suggestion. He said he would fully support the ten development goals and vision proposed by the APECF. He believed that through the construction of these projects, Nepal’s investment environment could be greatly improved and Nepal’s charm could be demonstrated to the world.

In 2012, Xiao Wunan (second from right) and Prachanda (second from left) signed

the Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Promoting Development of Lumbini Buddhist &

Cultural Conservation Zone and Nepali-Chinese Buddhist & Cultural Exchanges

The APECF has long history of cooperation and exchanges with Nepal, and has maintained close cooperation with different political parties and governments in Nepal. In particular, the “Lumbini Buddist Cultural Special Zone” project launched in 2010 had a far-reaching impact, which was widely reported by nearly 100 mainstream media around the world and became the hot spot and focus of the world at that time. The APECF signed a framework agreement with the Ministry of CultureTourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal in May 2011, reaching a consensus on how to build infrastructure in Nepal; in November, 2012, the APECF and the Lumbini Development National Directive Committee of Nepal signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Promoting Development of Lumbini Buddhist & Cultural Conservation Zone and Nepali-Chinese Buddhist & Cultural Exchanges, which combined the protection of the cultural heritage of the birthplace of Buddha with limited development to build it into a world Buddhist holy land. After more than ten years of efforts, most of infrastructure construction projects promoted by the APECF in Nepal have been completed. After this meeting, both sides believed that the pagoda project originally planned to be established in Lumbini is a symbol of promoting the revival of world civilization and world peace, and both sides will intensify efforts to promote it.

General Secretary Dev Gurung (right) meets with Xiao Wunan

at the central headquarters of the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Center)

In the afternoon of the same day, the delegation led by Xiao Wunan visited General Secretary Dev Gurung at the central headquarters of the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist Center) and fully exchanged views on strategic cooperation at all levels.

Li Tianwei, Deputy General Manager of Shijiazhuang Pharmaceutical Group, Ge Fen, Deputy Secretary General of Asia Pacific Strategic Dialogue Organizing Committee, and others attended the relevant activities.

Executive Editor: Li Chuanjun