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Live Interview with Chinese Ambassador Yang Houlan by Nepal Capital Radio

On June 21, 2012, Ambassador Yang Houlan did a live interview with Capital FM 92.4 in the program “Capital Talk Show”. The transcript of the interview is as follows:

1. Your Excellency,you are one of experienced and outstanding senior Chinese diplomats. Have you ever imagine that you will come to Nepal as an Ambassador? It would be nice to listen from you, how was your imagination of Nepal and how you found Nepal when you landed first time in Kathmandu? Are you enjoying in Nepal?

I had never visited Nepal before I served as Chinese ambassador to Nepal. But I heard a lot of beautiful stories of Nepal. So I expected to visit Nepal. After I came here, I was very impressive. Firstly, Nepal is a beautiful country. Since I came here one year ago, I have visited many places in Nepal, both in cities and rural areas and encountered many Chinese tourists. I was impressed by the beautiful scenery, pleasant climate, rich cultural and religious heritage here, which also attracted these Chinese tourists to come and visit here. We were deeply intoxicated with the beauty of Nepal.

Secondly, Nepal is a friendly country. Since taking office for one year here, I have broadly met all kinds of people, who are from Nepalese government, parties, commercial societies, academies and media. I felt that developing the China-Nepal friendship was the consensus of Nepalese people, no matter which party, which race, which religion they belong to. The excellent friendship between China and Nepal was deeply rooted in the heart of both peoples.

Thirdly, Nepal is a land of great potential. Natural resources are rich and Nepalese people are hard working. The hydropower, tourism and agricultural resources are extraordinarily rich here. Although Nepal is now in the crucial period of political and social transition and faces many problems, I firmly believe that industrious and brave people of Nepal have the ability to realize their country's political stability, economic development and social progress.

2. Your Excellency, Nepal and China are good neighbors since ancient time. We are respecting each other’s sovereignty and helping each other’s when one in difficulty. China got tremendous success since the establishment of People’s Republic China in 1949. Now China is second largest economy in the world and similarly China has achieved outstanding achievements on various fields i.e. socio economic development, science and technology etc.

Just a week ago China successfully launched Shenzhou-9 Spacecraft with 3 Astronauts. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Your Excellency on this outstanding success of China.

On the other hand, when we look towards Nepal, this nation is still in difficult pathway, crossing several political ups and downs and suffering by various problems; it is pity that the nation is stand as very law economic growth country. China as a good neighbor always supporting for peace, prosperity and development of Nepal. How you are evaluating China’s cooperation to Nepal so far, and do you think it has given satisfactory results?

Nepal now is in a political and social transitional period, and we understand the challenges the country is facing. As its friendly neighbor, China has been supporting Nepal's stable development and hope the political parties can break the deadlock through negotiation and talks. Meanwhile, China will provide assistance within its capacity in Nepal's economic and social development and do our best to improve Nepali people's living standard. We will also urge the international community to play a more positive role in Nepal's transitional period. I believe that diligent and intelligent people of Nepal will sort out the difficulties finally.

3. Your Excellency, as you know, now, Nepal is in very complicated political situation. Out of people’s expectation, the Constituent Assembly’s term is over without any result. It is pity that CA remain fail to give a new constitution to the nation. There are arguments that new constitution could not announced by Constituent Assembly because of internal and external forces. As neighbor of Nepal how you are observing this situation?

The failure of the Constitution-writing was out of my expectation this time. Before that, all parties had reached consensus in many issues through intensive communications, and also made significant progress in peace and Constitution-writing process, which made everyone feel that we were very near to the conclusion of the two tasks. However, the Constitution-drafting failed due to the disputes in federalism ultimately. I think disputes are inevitable in the period of transition. The internal cause is the most critical factor in current situation. I believe that all parties have capability and wisdom to meet the people's expectation.

4. There are also some arguments that China’s role on Nepal affairs, especially in post conflict situation is bit passive, what is your opinion on this point?

China never commands other countries. We never intervene other countries' internal affairs. We respect the development roads chosen by the native people according to their national conditions. We are willing to share our development experiences and opportunities with friendly countries. China has always attached a great importance to China-Nepal relations, we have maintained extensive and close contacts with the government, political parties and people of all walks of life. Both sides continued to deepen exchanges and cooperation. Earlier this year, Premier Wen Jiabao paid a successful visit to Nepal. The exchanges in every level and field are increasingly active. I believe that the development momentum of friendly cooperation between China and Nepal will be stronger no matter what are happening in Nepal.

5. As you know, a discussion is going on in Nepal on federalism with ethnic identity. How is Chinese experience on it? I think Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang are ethnic identity autonomous regions in China, how other ethnic minorities are excursing their rights in such a one ethnic identity autonomous region? We may learn from China.

China is a country with 56 ethnic groups, but the unity has been handed down since ancient times. All ethnic groups consider themselves as part of the Chinese nation. Living in a unified, strong, prosperous and harmonious country has been the common goal of all ethnic groups. This is also the China's source of strength. China adopts an ethnic regional autonomy policy, which is established based on China's national conditions. Nepal is also a multi-ethnic country, ethnic groups have been living in harmony. I have confidence that Nepal can solve this problem.

6. Let us talk on Nepal-China relation. Nepal always emphasize on the importance of Nepal-China relation and helping China on various regional and international issues. Nepal stands on, one China policy, recognizing Tibet and Taiwan as internal part of China since ancient period and not permitting any external forces to use Nepalese soil for Anti-China activities. But still there are some arguments that Nepal’s role is not enough in this regards and China is not happy? Could you kindly clear this issue?

China and Nepal always understand, trust and support each other. Nepal firmly pursues the one-China policy and recognizes Tibet and Taiwan as part of China, and it never allows any forces to use its territory to engage in anti-China activities. This is a general consensus among various fields. The stance of the government, political parties and people from all walks of life on this issue is quite clear.

7. Development is a difficult challenge for Nepal; we must learn from China’s experiences on how to achieve development. Your Excellency, as being a good neighbor of Nepal, have you seen any best way or you could give any suggestions to achieve development in Nepal.

China adopted reform and opening-up policy in 1978. The Communist Party of China shifted the core task to economic construction. China's GDP increased 14 times during 30 years, and the number of poor people in rural area decreased over 200 million. China becomes the second largest economy around the world. The state material wealth has continuously accumulated, the social construction has grown and people display all entirely new outlook. Simply to say, China's experience is to dedicated ourselves to nation-building and focus on development. Deng Xiaoping once said that development is all above else.

As a friendly neighbor of Nepal, China sincerely hopes that all parties of Nepal can complete the political transiton and focus on economic construction. Nepal is rich in water, agriculture and tourism resources. The people are diligent and kindhearted. It is located between the two emerging economies-China and India. Nepal has great potential in development.

8. There are a lot of discussions going on about how Nepal can get benefit from development of her neighbors. Nepal’s both neighbors China and India achieving rapid economic growth. How Nepal can be benefited from development of China? Have you seen any scopes of Nepal as trade transit point between China and India?

China and India realized fast development in economy in recent years. The Nepalese side hopes to use its geographic proximity to realize development along with the neighbors. We have seen that the trade between China and Nepal increased rapidly. Both sides are intensifying interconnection construction. With improving the road conditions, trade exchanges between the two countries will be more active. Both South Asia and China has huge market. Nepal has a great potential in becoming a trade transit to link China and South Asia in the long run.

9. China is granting support to build infrastructures in Nepal; there are several outstanding projects which were built in China’s cooperation and now being a vital part of Nepal’s national life. For example highways, hydropower stations, bridges, hospitals, factories etc. Now Nepal is in transitional period after ending of monarchy to federal republic state. There is a general expectation that China may increase support to Nepal, could you tell us how China will cooperate to Nepal in future?

I think there are three channels. The first is that all kinds of assistance. During Premier Wen Jiabao's visit, he announced to provide RMB 750 million Yuan's grant to Nepal in the next three years, and provided the government of Nepal USD 20 million budget support. Besides government assistance, Chinese side will also implement assistance through NGOs and friendly organizations. The second is that encouraging Chinese companies to invest in Nepal. The Chinese Government encourages competent and well-established Chinese companies to invest in Nepal. Meanwhile, the Chinese side will also encourage more tourists to travel in Nepal to promote Nepal's tourism industry. The last one is to strengthen trade exchanges. The Chinese side unilaterally provides Nepal zero-tariff to nearly 5000 kinds of goods. We hope that Nepal can use this policy well and expand export to China.

10. One different question I am asking Your Excellency how is your feeling about Nepalese Medias? How media can promote Nepal-China Friendship?

At the end of the show, what message would you like to give to Nepalese people through Capital FM’s broadcasting?

China and Nepal can maintain the momentum of development of friendship and cooperation, media has been played a very important role. I’m confident that Nepali’s media will continue to make their efforts to promote the understanding and friendship between our two peoples.

My last message is: Long time of the friendship between China and Nepal.

Thanks a lot Your Excellency for giving your valuable time to the show. On behalf of entire Capital FM team I wish your good health and successful tenure of Nepal.

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