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Remarks on the Sino-Nepal BRI Framework Agreement(MOU):Shared Future for Trans-Himalayan Region
2021/09/24

Respected Former Prime Minister of Nepal, Hon. Khanal,

Respected President of the Leshan Normal University, Prof. Liu Jin,

Respected Chair of Development Affairs Council, Prof. Dr.Yubaraj Sangroula,

All the guests,

Good morning and namaste. It's my great pleasure to attend this webinar entitled "Sino-Nepal BRI Framework Agreement(MOU): Shared Future for Trans-Himalayan Region". It's of special significance for Himalayan BRI and Development Affairs Council to hold this webinar at a time when we are greeting the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China.

Right now, COVID-19 is still raging in the world, the recovery of the global economy is sluggish, the world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation. Facing those serious challenges, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote video speech at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 21st. He proposed a series of new proposals and measures about the solidarity against the pandemic, economic recovery, development of international relations, and the improvement of global governance. Particularly, President Xi solemnly proposed a Global Development Initiative, called on all countries to stay committed to development as a priority, a people-centered approach, benefits for all and innovation-driven development, harmony between man and nature and results-oriented actions. President Xi stressed the need to form a synergy of multilateral cooperation, advance on a priority basis cooperation on poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity, pursue more robust, greener and more balanced global development, and build a community of development for all.

The Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping answered the most important and urgent questions faced by the world, incorporated China's precious experiences in building a moderately prosperous society, and reflected the aspiration for better life of the people all over the world, especially those from the developing countries, and provided a guide to action for all countries to focus on development, united for development and achieve common development. It provides a Chinese solution when the world is once again at a historical crossroad. BRI originates from China, but it creates opportunities and good results for all countries, and benefits the whole world. It's an important carrier and vivid practice of the Global Development Initiative. To date, up to 140 partner countries have signed documents on Belt and Road cooperation with China. Trade between China and BRI partners has exceeded 9.2 trillion US dollars. Direct investment by Chinese companies in countries along the Belt and Road has surpassed 130 billion US dollars. A World Bank report suggests that when fully implemented, the BRI could increase global trade by 6.2 percent and global real income by 2.9 percent, and give a significant boost to global growth. The BRI has truly become the world's broadest-based and largest platform for international cooperation. It demonstrates the global vision and firm commitment of China as a major country and China's important contribution to the world's development.

Dear guests,

China and Nepal are good neighbors, good friends and good partners who are connected by mountains and rivers and share a common destiny. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties 66 years ago, we have always respected each other and trusted and supported each other, setting an example of equality, friendship, and mutually beneficial cooperation between neighboring countries. In 2017, the governments of China and Nepal signed the MoU on bilateral cooperation under the framework of the BRI, which became another milestone in the development of friendly cooperative relations between the two countries. In 2019, President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to Nepal. The leaders of the two countries decided to elevate the China-Nepal relations to Strategic Partnership of Cooperation Featuring Ever-lasting Friendship for Development and Prosperity. A series of important consensuses have been reached on the cooperation under the BRI, as well as the construction of the trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network. The depth and breadth of China-Nepal relations have been continuously expanded. Despite the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, Belt and Road cooperation between China and Nepal has braved the headwinds and continued to move forward, showing remarkable resilience and vitality and making a significant contribution to the COVID response, economic stability and people's livelihood of our two countries.

--We share a future of health.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still a prominent challenge of mankind. With the personal guidance and care of the two heads of state, China and Nepal have carried out anti-pandemic cooperation, firmly opposed any act of politicizing COVID-19 origins tracing and worked together to build a community of health, which has again highlighted the spirit of mutual assistance and solidarity. President Xi pointed out that vaccination is our powerful weapon against COVID-19, China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year. In addition to donating 100 million US dollars to COVAX, China will donate additional 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries in the course of this year. China has donated 1.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal, the second batch of 1.6 million doses of vaccine under grant assistance will arrive in Nepal in near future. Aside from that, China recently has announced another 1 million doses of vaccine donation. China has also provided 10 million doses of vaccines to Nepal through commercial channels. It has become the country that provides the largest number of vaccines to Nepal, giving a strong boost to Nepali people's effort to build the immunization shield.

--We share a future of connectivity.

The border between the two countries, which becomes the link for the two sides' development and cooperation, has maintained peace and tranquility for a long time and is free of dispute. When Nepal suffered from earthquakes, pandemic and other difficulties, China has always worked hard to maintain a smooth transportation and kept transporting the most needed materials to Nepal. In the face of the severe impact of the pandemic, the concerned parties of the two countries have overcome great difficulties and pushed ahead with relevant cooperation projects. The first China-Nepal Working Group Meeting on Trade and Economy was held via video, and the Protocol on Implementing the Agreement on Transit and Transportation between China and Nepal has come into effect. The pre-feasibility study of the Tokha-Chhahare Tunnel Project has been completed. The construction of the third phase of China Aid Araniko Highway Long-term Opening Maintenance Project has been started, the construction of Pokhara International Airport has made positive progress. The construction of the trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network has kept making progress despite the pandemic.

--We share a future of green development.

Green is a defining feature of Belt and Road cooperation. President Xi called on accelerating transition to a green and low-carbon economy and achieving green recovery and development at the 76th UNGA. He also reiterated that China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, which exhibits a strong sense of responsibility to build a community with a shared future for mankind. At the Asia and Pacific High-level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation held recently, China and Nepal, along with other Asia-Pacific countries, jointly put forth the Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on Green Development, committed to jointly promoting green, low-carbon and sustainable development, and injecting new impetus into building the green Silk Road. Chinese enterprises will fulfill their environmental protection responsibilities, carry out project planning and construction with high standards, and implement the vision of green development throughout the entire process of Sino-Nepal cooperation.

--We share a future of ecological harmony.

Mount Zhumulangma/Sagarmatha has become an eternal symbol of China-Nepal friendship. It is our common responsibility to protect the "third pole" of the earth. During President Xi's visit to Nepal, the joint statement of the two sides specified that the two sides will promote cooperation in protecting the environment of the Himalayan region. Last December, the two sides jointly announced the height of the Mount Zhumulangma/Sagarmatha, which laid a solid foundation for promoting the ecological protection of this region. On a recent inspection tour to Tibet this July, President Xi emphasized to seek a kind of modernization that promotes harmonious coexistence of man and Nature and protect the ecology of the world's "Third Pole", which outlined Chinese leader's commitment to the world. China and Nepal enjoy broad space for cooperation of climate change and environmental protection. It is believed that with the joint efforts of both sides, the ecological environment of the Himalayan region will be further improved and benefit the people of the two countries and the region.

Dear guests,

This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) . Under the CPC leadership, the Chinese people have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and on that basis, we are now embarking on a new journey of fully building a modern socialist country. President Xi stressed that a world of peace and development should embrace civilizations of various forms, and must accommodate diverse paths to modernization. China's new development will be a development that is more integrated with the world and makes greater contributions to the common prosperity of the world. As close neighbors enjoying a long-standing friendship, China would like to advance mutually-beneficial cooperation with Nepal based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China welcomes Nepal to join the Global Development Initiative, and is willing to work with Nepal to deepen the coordination of our development strategies, achieve cooperation aims of high-standard, people-centered and sustainable growth, build a closer partnership for belt and road cooperation and share the fruits of development.

The Dashain Festival is approaching. On this auspicious occasion, I wish Nepal enjoy good governance and social harmony, Nepali people enjoy happiness, health and prosperity and the friendship between China and Nepal everlasting.

Finally, I'd like to wish the webinar a great success. Thank you.

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