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H.E. Ambassador Mr. Yang Houlan's Exclusive Interview by Today Magazine
    In September, <Today>magazine of Nepal published the interview with H.E. Mr. Yang Houlan, Ambassador of China to Nepal:


1How do you assess Nepal China relations which are 57 years old?

    After my arrival in Nepal, I have contacted with people from all walks of life and visited many places. I am deeply impressed by the atmosphere and the social public basis of China-Nepal friendship here, which makes me full of confidence in the future development of friendly and cooperative relations between us.

    Since China and Nepal established diplomatic relations 57 years ago, our bilateral relations featuring mutual respect, mutual trust, equality, good faith and mutual assistance, has set a model of state-to-state relations. Being connected by the highest mountain in the world, China-Nepal friendship has never been impacted by the adjustments and changes of the international and domestic situation and has always maintained a healthy and stable developing trend.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China has provided grant and concessional loan to support Nepal's economic and social development. Nearly 100 projects has been constructed in Nepal under the assistance of the Chinese government including roads, bridges, power plants, factories, hospitals, schools, sports facilities, convention center and so on.

Earlier this year, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's successful visit to Nepal has brought our Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation between the two countries to a new height. The recent 9th diplomatic consultations between China and Nepal has reached broad consensus on implementing the outcome of Premier Wen's visit. With the deepening exchanges and cooperation between our two countries in the political, economic, social and humanistic fields, China-Nepal Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation has a prosperous future.


2. China has been extending financial cooperation to Nepal in its efforts of national development. Nepal suffers from the shortage of electricity. What support can China provide to Nepal for the promotion of hydro-project which is a key factor to the development of nation?

    Nepal is rich in water resources, tourism and agriculture, and has great potential for development. I know that Nepalese people are full of expectation and confidence in the future of the country. I was told by my Nepalese friend me that Nepalese people lose millions of dollars per day because of its failure in the exploitation and the utilization of the abundant water resources, and suffering from the power shortage. Nepal's development and prosperity are not only in line with China's expectations and interests, but also conducive to the common development of the region. Therefore, China is willing to actively support Nepal in hydropower development. Currently, some projects by Chinese enterprises are under way in Nepal, such as Trishuli 3A hydropower, Upper Tamakoshi hydropower, and the soon-to-start West Seti project. The smooth implementation of these projects will greatly ease the power shortage of Nepal, and have a significant influence on the economic and social development of Nepal.


3. May I request Your Excellency to shed light on the investment of Chinese companies in some important sectors of development in Nepal? Is Nepal's present situation congenial to the Chinese investors, businessmen and industrialists for their investment in Nepal?

Chinese Government supports Chinese enterprises to participate in the projects which are in favor of enhancing Nepalese people's livelihood, such as transportation, hydropower and other infrastructure projects, and is willing to provide financial support to those projects agreed by both sides. Besides the projects already launched, currently both sides are working together to promote the Pokhara International Airport Project, West Seti Hydropower Project, the expansion of Kathmandu ring-road and Tatopani Dry Port, etc.

We have also noticed that some people are deliberately hyping up some projects which Chinese enterprises are participating in. We hope the Nepalese side could take measures to eliminate such interference and provide a more fair and transparent investment environment.


4. Tourism is one of the important factors which contribute to consolidating people to people relation between the two countries. What suggestions do Your Excellency offer for the promotion of tourism between Nepal and China? What should the Government of Nepal do to attract more Chinese tourists to Nepal?

I notice that more and more Chinese tourists are attracted by Nepal's rich cultural and natural beauty, and wish to visit Nepal. I also notice that many Chinese tourists shared the beautiful scenery of Nepal and appreciated the kindness of Nepalese people through blogs and other means after returning home. I hope that the relevant departments of the two countries could strengthen communication and coordination to promote cooperation in tourism, and I hope the Nepalese side could increase the tourism-promotion and continue to improve tourism management and infrastructure condition. I believe that Nepal is bound to become a major tourism-based country, and tourism will become an important pillar of the economic and social development of Nepal.


5. Chinese goods and items are very popular in Nepalese market. What are your suggestions for the promotion of commercial and economic relations between these two countries?

      The trade between China and Nepal faces a lot of challenges because of the Himalayans, and I think we could conquer them and promote our cooperation from two aspects. One is to strengthen the construction of the interconnection. At the end of last year, the highway between Geelong and Rasuwa was opened. I hope the two sides would intensify consultations to make full use of the road. The other is to create better soft environment through the building of cooperation and consultation mechanisms.


6. The present political situation in Nepal is still unstable and fluid. The constitution drafting is not yet completed. What suggestions do Your Excellency offer to Nepalese people to forge consensus and build a new Nepal based on peace, prosperity and unity?

      As a good neighbor, good friend and good partner of Nepal, China is always closely watching the development of the domestic situation in Nepal with full of friendly feelings, and always respects Nepal's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and always understands and supports the political system and ways of development which Nepalese people choose according to their own national conditions. At present, Nepal is in an important transition period, facing the historical task of constitution-drafting. I believe that all the political parties will follow the interests of the country and the people, and focus on solving the current political deadlock to push the country towards the new era of economic development, national harmony and prosperity.


7. China's development in the field of science and technology and economic development has become exemplary for many nations of the world. What are the factors that led China to emerge both as political and economic world power?

    Over the past 30 years of reform and opening up, China has gained remarkable achievements in economic and social development, and has successfully found out a path of socialist development with Chinese characteristics. Regarding China's success, I think the following factors can not be ignored. The first is market-oriented reform. China has accomplished the transition from a highly-centralized planned economy to a vibrant socialist market economy. The reform has energized Chinese enterprises and released the immense potential in the society, which has been the eternal power of economic development and social progress of China's industrialization. The Second is to continue to open China to the world and fully utilize both domestic and international markets and resources. The foreign companies have brought advanced technical know-how and managerial expertise to China and become an important part of China's economy. More and more Chinese companies have entered the global market and are becoming a new force for promoting global economic growth. The third is to promote scientific and technological innovation. We have closely followed the trend of the development of science and technology in the world and pursued innovation at home. We have developed a number of key technologies with independent intellectual property rights, which has greatly narrowed China's technological gap with developed countries.

    Since the reform and opening up, China has always concentrated on construction and focused on development, and has always been committed to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development of mankind. The development China seeks is peaceful, opening, cooperative and win-win development.

    However, our minds are still conscious in front of those achievements. China is still a developing country with a large population and a weak economic foundation. Though China's GDP increases, its quality still needs to be further enhanced. Unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development and other issues are still outstanding. There is still a long way to go for China to be among the ranks of developed countries. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, unswervingly pursue a win-win strategy of opening up. China is willing to work with all countries, including Nepal to make unremitting efforts to build a harmonious world featuring lasting peace and common prosperity.

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