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H.E. Ambassador Mr. Yang Houlan's Speech on the Prize Distribution Program of Oratory Competition on "the Diplomatic Relationship Between Nepal and China"

All distinguished guests and friends,

Ladies and gentlemen:

Good afternoon! I am very glad to have this opportunity to be invited on the Prize Distribution Program of Inter-School Oratory Competition organized by Mangal Higher Secondary School and Nepal China Friendship Center.

China and Nepal are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. The traditional friendship between us has a long history. Early in the Jin and Tang Dynasties, Chinese Master Monks Fa Xian and Xuan Zang have made pilgrimages to Lumbini. The Nepalese royal family married Princess Bhrikuti to the Tibetan local leader Songtsen Gampo. And nowadays, Chinese and Nepalese people are still talking about the white pagoda in Miaoying Temple in Beijing which was built by Nepalese architect Aniko as the symbol of the friendship between us. For more than a thousand years, the friendly exchanges between two countries have never been interrupted.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations on August 1, 1955, exchanges in each field of two countries have become more active. Political mutual trust has been enhanced constantly, economic and trade cooperation has developed continually and mutual cultural exchanges have increased frequently. In 2009, the two countries issued the "Joint Statement" which upgraded the bilateral relations to Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship and bilateral relations have been improved to a new height. At the beginning of this year, Prime Minister Wen Jiabo had a successful visit to Nepal. During the visit, he reached broad consensus with the Nepalese side and the two sides issued a joint statement to deepen bilateral friendly exchanges and cooperation in political, economic, trade, cultural and other fields. China-Nepal relationship then entered a new stage of era.

At present, China-Nepal relationship is at the best and fastest development period. On the political side, vigorously developing the China-Nepal relationship remains as a consensus with high degree for Nepali government and political parties; at the same time, the Chinese Communist Party and the government also put the China-Nepal relationship in China's peripheral diplomacy priority position. Both top level and various government officials have enjoyed frequent exchanges. This year, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Internal Affairs Gachhadar successively visited China. Vice Chairman of the National People's Congress Chen Zhili visited Nepal with China Women's Delegations. Vice Foreign Minister, FuYing came to Nepal and held the 9th round China-Nepal diplomatic negotiations. The working mechanism of economic and security cooperation works smoothly.

On the economic side, the development of economic and trade cooperation between China-Nepal presents unprecedented good momentum. In January-August 2012, the China-Nepal bilateral trade volume reached $917 million, an increase of 57.1%. The number of zero-tariff products that China unilaterally has given to Nepal has been extended to 7787 items. These Nepali products are covered by the Nepali carpet, leather, coffee, wool products, silverware and other products with export advantage. Moreover, there are more than 20 Chinese-invested enterprises have invested in Nepal, the investment stock is nearly $100 million. Many large-scale cooperation projects of both sides have made positive progress underway. At present, there are 4 direct flights and two roads connected between the two countries. The two governments are actively discussing to accelerate the construction of the interconnection between the two sides. Meanwhile, China has continued to make efforts to increase aids to Nepal. During the visit to Nepal, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao announced that there will be a grant aid of 750 million yuan to be provided to Nepal in the next three years. And some of important livelihood projects in Nepal, such as reconstruction of loop line of Kathmandu and Tato Barney dry dock are steadily undergoing with Chinese assistance.

For cultural and educational exchanges, the feeling of good neighbors, good friends and good partners of the two countries are deep rooted in the heart of the two peoples. People-to-people exchanges are more and more active.

In January-September 2012, the number of first-stop-to- Nepal from Chinese mainland citizens reached 78,400 people, increased by 24.4% compared to the last year; at the same period the number of Nepali people went to China is 26,900 people, with an increase of 17.4%. China-Nepal also continue to deepen the cooperation in the fields of education, culture, and sports by holding China Friendship Week and Chinese Book Fair.

In November this year, the Chinese Communist Party held the 18th National People's Congress. This is a meeting with great historical significance. The 18th CPC national congress has announced a comprehensive plan for all aspects of political, economic and social development and drawn up a blueprint of building a moderately prosperous society in 2020. In foreign relations, the Chinese communist party declared to the world once again shows that China will always persist firmly in the path of peaceful development, unswervingly pursue win-win strategy of opening-up, and grow friendship and cooperation in all fields with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We will continue to promote friendship and partnership with our neighbors, consolidate friendly relations and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with them, and ensure that China's development will bring more benefits to our neighbors. As an important neighbor of China, in the future, Nepal will get more benefits from China's development. And China will continue to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas of Nepal and take all efforts to provide assistance on Nepal's economic and social development.

I have spent almost two years in my life here in Nepal, and I have gone through the rivers and mountains of this land. What the most impressed me is the hospitality of Nepali people. This shows that the friendship of China-Nepal is deeply rooted in the hearts of the Nepali people with solid foundation in Nepal society. Young students is driving forces to promote the China-Nepal friendly relationships in the future, today I saw so many students participated in oratory contest on “The Diplomatic relationship Between Nepal and China” makes me full of confidence to further promote the bilateral relations to Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship. I do believe that, together with two governments and peoples' joint and unremitting efforts, the china-nepal relationship will continue to maintain a sound and stable development, and the two countries in all fields of exchanges and communication will produce more fruitful results. The friendship between China and Nepal will last forever!

Thank you!

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