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Ambassador Yang Houlan's Interview by Krambadda Monthly

1. How is the relationship between China and Nepal developed since the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of secular Republic?

China and Nepal are close neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. The friendly exchanges can be traced back to ancient times. Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations of the two countries, no matter how international and domestic situation changed, bilateral relations have witnessed healthy development. By adhering to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China and Nepal enjoy good relations of mutual respect and trust, treat each other equally, and help each other sincerely, which makes a good model for the international community. China attaches great importance to developing good-neighborly friendly relations with Nepal and continuously pushes forward the bilateral comprehensive partnership of cooperation. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid a successful visit to Nepal this January, which helped to further deepen China-Nepal traditional friendship, expand pragmatic cooperation in various areas and upgrade the bilateral relations to a new high. The visit has become a new milestone of China-Nepal relations and provided impetus for deepening the friendship between the two countries. China respects Nepal's choice on its development path according to its own national conditions and supports its efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. As a good neighbor and good partner, China will continue to play a constructive role in supporting Nepal's overall development.

2. How does China want to contribute to the peace and constitution writing process?

To realize ever-lasting peace, stability and development as soon as possible is the common voice and aspiration of the Nepalese people. Nepal is facing the historic tasks of peace process and writing new constitution. For every country, the people are the decisive factor to determine the course of history. Promoting peace and constitution writing process is helpful for achieving peace, stability and development in Nepal. China has maintained good communication with the Nepal people from all walks of life on this matter. Meanwhile, we are willing to share China’s experience and lessons of development. At the request of the Nepalese side, the Chinese side decided to provide a 20 million USD finance support to the Nepalese government during Premier Wen jiabao’s visit. I sincerely hope and believe that Nepal will achieve peace and stability and enter a period of rapid economic and social development with the joint efforts of the Nepalese Government and people.

3. Indian and US intervention have been increasing in Nepal militarily and politically. How does China feel about this?

China and Nepal are good neighbors, good friends and good partners, which have the time-honored friendly relations and exchanges. The Chinese Government has provided assistance towards Nepal's social and economic development within our ability without any conditions. China also handles the relations with Nepal on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, firmly supports the efforts made by the Nepalese side to safeguard its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Now Nepal is at a crucial period of peace and constitution writing process. The Chinese side hopes that Nepal could fulfill the above historical process and create favorable conditions for the development of its economy and improving the Nepalese people's livelihood. China also hopes that the international community continues its effort in supporting Nepal's economic development and social stability by taking the whole situation into account.

4. The US and Indian support Tibetan separatists by providing money. US has recently threatened to cut grant to Nepal. It doesn't permit separatist fraction to use Nepal as transit and anti-China platform? How do you comment on this?

Tibet has always been an inalienable part of China since ancient times. We resolutely oppose any force to use Nepal's territory to engage in anti-China separatist activities. Nepal has firmly pursued one-China policy and given full understanding and support to China on Tibet, Taiwan and other issues concerning China's core interests. The government of Nepal and the parties’ leaders reiterated on many occasions that Nepal would never allow anyone to use its territory to engage in anti-China activities. The Chinese side appreciates Nepal's position on these issues and believes that the Nepalese side will stick to the right position for ever. The Nepalese people believe that the "Tibet independence" separatist forces who attempt to use Nepalese territory to engage in anti-China activities not only damage China's interests, but also disturb Nepal's social stability and encroach upon its sovereignty.

5. How does China feel about the US war machines redirecting its efforts in the pacific and its meddling in the maritime disputes in the South China sea?

China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China also maintains that the South China Sea disputes shall be peacefully resolved through bilateral consultation and negotiation between directly concerned parties. The interference by irrelevant countries will only make the issue more complicated and do harm to the peace and stability of the region.

6. China and Russia voted to block a motion condemning the Syrian Government in the Security Council, why?

The action of the UN Security Council on the Syrian issue should comply with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and relevant international norms, and help ease the tensions, help promote political dialogue and defuse disputes, and help maintain peace and stability in the Middle East region. According to these principles, China has taken an active part in the consultations on the draft resolution. However, it was regrettable that co-sponsor countries of the draft resolution pressed for the voting when parties were still seriously divided over the issue, which would not help maintain the unity and authority of the Security Council, or help resolve the issue. In this context, China voted against the draft resolution and it would continue to work with the international community and play a positive and constructive role in the proper settlement of the Syrian issue.

7. Nepal is facing many difficulties in electricity generation, shortages of gas & petrol, how can China help Nepal?

China attaches great importance to the urgent desire of the Nepalese side to improve its conditions for energy and other infrastructure, and is willing to help the latter develop its economy and promote its capacity for self-development. Nepal is rich in water resources, and the construction of hydropower stations will benefit its economic development. So far, Chariyal hydropower project is one of China's most important large-scale projects in Nepal and the Upper Trishuli 3A hydropower projects, being developed with Chinese concessional loan, is proceeding smoothly. The development of water resources will contribute to easing the power shortage and accelerating economic development of Nepal. The Chinese Government will continue to provide support within its capacity to help Nepal’s social and economic development. During Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Nepal, he announced China will increase the economic and technical assistance for Nepal to actively support its economic and social development. In the future, China will continue to encourage and support competent and reputable Chinese enterprises to invest in Nepal, and to provide financing support, including concessional loans for cooperation projects agreed upon by the two sides.

8. Both China & India have urged Nepal to have a balance approach towards each country. Behind the diplomatic niceties what does this really mean?

China is committed to developing friendly cooperative relations with all the South Asian countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. In recent years, under the joint efforts of both sides, China-India strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity has maintained a good momentum of development. This will not only benefit the two peoples, but also the peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world at large. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also agreed that there is enough space in Asia for both China and India to flourish, and there are also enough areas in the world where China and India can enhance cooperation. The Chinese side would like to see the development of friendly relations between Nepal and India, and support Nepal in seizing the opportunity to develop itself with its own unique geographical advantage and playing an active role in regional affairs. Since Nepal is a common neighbor of China and India, its development has great significance for its neighbors. China hopes that Nepal will achieve rapid economic development as soon as possible, and is willing to continue to provide support and assistance for Nepal within its capacity. China is also ready to cooperate with other countries in promoting Nepal’s overall development.

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