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China to provide $181 million aid to Nepal

Besides providing a new batch of economic assistance to Nepal, both sides also reached several other agreements and understanding…reports Asian Lite News

China has announced to provide an 800 million yuan ($181 million) aid to Nepal for this year.

The announcement was made by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his meeting with his Nepal counterpar Narayan Khadka in Qingdao on Wednesday.

Khadka is on a three-day visit to China at the invitation of Wang, who is also the State Councillor.

The trip comes at a time during simmering tensions between China and Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island last week.

During the meeting, Khadka reiterated Nepal’s unwavering commitment to ‘One China Policy’ and assured that the Nepali territory will not be allowed to be used for any activity against Beijing.

In his address, Wang reiterated China’s continued and unconditional support to Nepal’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and assured to support in the country’s development endeavours as per the priority of the government in Kathmandu, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry here.

Besides providing a new batch of economic assistance to Nepal, both sides also reached several other agreements and understanding, the Ministry added.

As Nepal is witnessing a crippling shortage of chemical fertiliser, China has agreed to provide it.

Upon Nepal’s request, China has assured that it will positively consider providing chemical fertiliser and to study the feasibility of establishing a chemical fertiliser plant in Nepal, said the Ministry.

“The State Councillor agreed to assist Nepal’s agricultural sector. He also agreed to encourage Chinese investment in developing manufacturing capacity of Nepal and enhance cooperation in the export of Nepali tea and traditional medicinal herbs,” the statement said, adding that Khadka and Wang decided to establish a joint mechanism for Covid-19 control in border ports.

They also agreed to open Rasuwa-Kyerung and Tatopani-Jangmu ports for two-way trade which was hit by the pandemic.

The ports are the major trading zones between Nepal and China.

The two sides also agreed to utilise the Hilsa-Pulang port for one way trade which will take place as soon as the fresh wave of Covid-19 pandemic in Tibet is controlled.

“In support of people being affected by disasters and natural calamities in different parts of Nepal, Wang announced to provide Nepal with 3 million yuan worth of disaster relief materials as per Nepal’s request. China will also provide Nepal with additional 2 million yuan worth of medical items and logistics,” the Ministry statement said.

The State Councillor also announced that China will provide additional Covid-19 vaccines and pandemic related medical assistance as much as Nepal may require

Wang announced that China would provide support to the establishment of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells (CAR T cells) manufacturing laboratory in Civil Service Hospital to treat blood cancer and provide necessary training to Nepali health professionals.

The Civil Hospital was built by Chinese assistance.

Wng further said that all the remaining Nepali students who wish to return to China can proceed for visa procedures, while fulfilling the health protocols, to resume their studies.

Both sides agreed to form a bilateral technical committee to do necessary preparation towards the functioning of existing mechanism of Nepal-China Joint Boundary Inspection Committee.

Nepal and China have some issues over boundary dispute in some places.

ALSO READ: China concludes Taiwan drills

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Nepal FM due in China amid tensions

After announcing the visit, Nepal’s Foreign Ministry said that it is closely following the evolving situation in Taiwan Strait…reports Asian Lite News

In the midst of rising tension between China and Taiwan after the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka is visiting China from August 9-11, Nepal’s Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

At the invitation of Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi, Dr Khadka is visiting China from August 9 to 11, the ministry said.

The two Ministers will hold bilateral talks, leading their respective delegations on August 10 in Qingdao, China.

Wang will host a banquet in honour of Khadka and the members of the delegation, the statement added.

The visit is taking place days after the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, issued a statement in Kathmandu over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, calling it a serious violation of the one-China principle and hailing Nepal’s commitment to one-China policy.

“We believe that Nepal will continue to abide by the one-China principle and understand and support China’s legitimate and justified position and work together with China to defend each other’s sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity.”

Nancy Pelosi (Picture Credits: https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1554496902812602370)

“China highly appreciates Nepal’s longstanding commitment to the one-China principle and resolute opposition to ‘Taiwan Independence.’ It is also the political foundation of China-Nepal relations. We believe that the government of Nepal and its people will continue to abide by the one-China principle and understand and support China’s legitimate and justified position and work together with China to defend each other’s sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity,” the envoy added.

After announcing the visit, Nepal’s Foreign Ministry said that it is closely following the evolving situation in Taiwan Strait.

“We are closely following the latest developments in Taiwan. We are committed to the one-China policy. Since Nepal is a peace-loving country, we stand for world peace,” said Sewa Lamsal, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, on Friday at a regular press briefing. “Both Nepal and China support each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.”

ALSO READ: Nepal elections on November 20

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Nepal elections on November 20

As per the recommendation, the elections are being held on the same days in an effort to make it cost-effective and easier for the poll body to manage…reports Asian Lite News

The Nepal government on Thursday announced its decision to hold the federal and provincial polls on November 20.

A meeting of the Cabinet took the decision earlier in the day based on the recommendation of the Election Commission.

As per the recommendation, the elections are being held on the same days in an effort to make it cost-effective and easier for the poll body to manage.

With the announcement of the polls, the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led coalition government has now turned into a caretaker one and cannot take crucial decisions.

The Election Commission now has 107 days to prepare for the polls, which the Chief Election Commissioner says is enough time.

As per the Election Commission Act 2017, the government announces election dates in consultation with the Election Commission.

The election date was earlier recommended for November 18, according to officials of the polls body, assuming that the tenure of the existing House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly would end on December 8.

The Commission had declared the early winners of the second phase of the elections in federal and provincial elections in 2017 on December 8 under the first-past-the-post system.

The previous federal and provincial polls were held in two phases on November 26 and December 7 in 2017.

ALSO READ: One China policy: China lauds Nepal’s commitment

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One China policy: China lauds Nepal’s commitment

Nepal has time and again committed to the “one China” policy but Beijing often times expressed its discontent over Nepal’s commitment after one after another high-level visits from the US…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi said on Wednesday that his country highly appreciates Nepal’s longstanding commitment to the “one China” principle and resolute opposition to “Taiwan’s Independence”.

Issuing a statement after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan and muscle-flexing between US and the China continues, Beijing wants to see Nepal’s support in its direct confrontation against the US. But, the Nepal government has not made any official position on ongoing face-off between China and the US.

After completing the two-day Taiwan visit, Pelosi left for South Korea on Wednesday evening.

Ambassador Hou said that China and Nepal are good neighbors, trustworthy friends, and reliable partners linked by mountains and rivers. The two countries have always understood and supported each other on issues of core interests concerning respective sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, he said.

Nepal has time and again committed to the “one China” policy but Beijing often times expressed its discontent over Nepal’s commitment after one after another high-level visits from the US, Nepal’s acceptance of US grant under the Millennium Challenge Corporation among others.

Nancy Pelosi (Picture Credits: https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1554496902812602370)

The “one China” policy is also the political foundation of China-Nepal relations, said Hou adding that they believe that the government of Nepal and its people will continue to abide by the principle and understand and support China’s legitimate and justified position and work together with China to defend each other’s sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity.

“The position of the Chinese Government and people on the Taiwan question has been consistent. It is the firm commitment of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people to resolutely safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is the common aspiration and sacred responsibility of all Chinese sons and daughters to realise the complete reunification of the motherland,” the Ambassador said.

China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the US Speaker’s visit, she said.

ALSO READ: South Korea urges for China-Taiwan peace

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Nepal, India ink fertiliser deal

The agreement states that Nepal will be able to purchase 150,000 tons of crop nutrients 100,000 tons of urea and 50,000 tons of diammonium phosphate (DAP)-from India in the first year….reports Asian Lite News

Nepal has signed a much-awaited commercial agreement with India for the supply of chemical fertilisers for the next five years, officials said on Thursday.

The long term deal signed between Nepal’s Krishi Samagri Company Limited and India’s Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited will allow Nepal to buy about 900,000 tons of chemical fertilisers for the next five years.

In recent years, Nepali farmers have been facing severe shortages of chemical fertilisers during planting season.

The agreement states that Nepal will be able to purchase 150,000 tons of crop nutrients�100,000 tons of urea and 50,000 tons of diammonium phosphate (DAP)-from India in the first year.

In the second year, the country will be able to buy 170,000 tons, in the third year 195,000 tons, and in the fourth and fifth years, 210,000 tons each.

“To minimise the uncertainty and assure the timely supply of fertilizers to the farmers of Nepal for the next 5 years, an agreement has been signed between Nepal and India,” Nepal’s ambassador to New Delhi Dr Shankar Prasad Sharma said on Twitter on Thursday.

The agreement follows a government-to-government deal, which was signed in February this year.

Rajendra Bahadur Karki, general manager of Krishi Samagri Company, said that the Indian side will deliver fertilisers at various border areas including Birgunj, Biratnagar and Bhairahawa.

The general manager said that Nepal will start the procurement to avail fertilizers for the wheat plantation season.

“The Indian company will begin supplying fertilizers 30 days after getting the supply order from us,” he said.

Ram Prasad Subedi, deputy chief of mission at the Nepal Embassy in New Delhi, said that the commercial agreement for the supply of chemical fertilizers to Nepal is welcome news for Nepali farmers.

“The negotiation took place for a couple of months between the two sides to finalize the commercial agreement on the purchase of chemical fertilizers. We also sincerely thank the Indian government for its warm cooperation to finalise this much-awaited deal,” he told India Narrative over phone.

Earlier in June, a Nepali delegation led by then Agriculture Minister Mahendra Yadav visited New Delhi to finalise the commercial agreement for the supply of chemical fertilizers, targeting the paddy transplantation season which begins in mid-June. However, the two sides had failed to sign commercial agreements on time owing to legal constraints.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

ALSO READ: Nepal crackdown on call centers owned by Chinese

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Nepal crackdown on call centers owned by Chinese

On Monday, the police conducted raids in two call centres occupied by Chinese nationals whose owner was an Indian national too….reports Asian Lite News

Nepal Police has continued its raids against illegal call centres owned by Chinese nationals.

On Wednesday night, a raid was conducted at a call centre in Kathmandu’s Thamel area following which four Chinese nationals were arrested.

The raid in Thamel, a popular tourist area, was the fourth to be carried out within a week.

On Monday, the police conducted raids in two call centres occupied by Chinese nationals whose owner was an Indian national too.

On Sunday, on a similar kind of raid was carried out in Butwal near Nepal-India border, leading to the arrest of Chinese and Indian nationals.

Police also seized 26 laptops, 472 mobile phones, recharge cards worth Rs 190,000, 20 SIM cards, and other equipment from the Chinese nationals.

The Chinese nationals were operating a call centre in Kathmandu and illegally providing loans to Indian citizens at high-interest rates.

According to the police, thousands of Indian citizens including Nepalis have been cheated by this call centre.

The police informed that the gang had been running a fraud business for months sending messages through social media saying that they have won a lottery, hacking other people’s social networks including Facebook, and asking for a certain amount of money to collect lottery tickets and goods.

The police are now investigating using the details they got from the laptop, desktop, CPU, mobile, pen drive, various hard disks, iPads.

After the arrest, Indian citizen Niranjan Kumar stated that their head office is in China and they also have call centres in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan.

The Nepal Police, on December 23, 2019, arrested 122 Chinese nationals from all over the Kathmandu Valley.

The operation, the largest one against any foreign nationals in Nepal’s history, apparently continues and at least 800 more Chinese nationals are being watched currently.

ALSO READ: Stateless children to benefit from Nepal’s amended citizenship act

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Stateless children to benefit from Nepal’s amended citizenship act


The progress on the bill is significant as it comes ahead of Nepal’s general election that is due later this year…writes Santosh Ghimire

Nepal’s parliament has passed a bill to amend the Citizenship Act, 2006, paving the way for thousands of children of parents who were citizens by birth to acquire citizenship by descent.

The House of Representatives, the lower house of Nepali parliament, endorsed the much-debated bill on Friday through a majority vote despite reservations from the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist). The bill will go into implementation once it is approved by the National Assembly, the upper house, according to authorities.

The progress on the bill is significant as it comes ahead of Nepal’s general election that is due later this year.

All eligible Nepali citizens born before September 20, 2015, the day when the Constitution of Nepal was promulgated, were granted naturalised citizenship. However, their children were not getting citizenship due to lack of a law as the constitution stated that the provision to grant them citizenship would be directed by a federal law. The country has yet to formulate the federal law even seven years after the promulgation of the national constitution.

According to Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs, 190,000 individuals had acquired naturalised citizenship by birth.

Nepal



What are major changes in the new amendment?


Once the amendment bill is approved by the upper house, one born to a Nepali woman in Nepal and whose father is unidentified would get citizenship by descent, according to the text of the bill which is now public. However, the applicant’s mother needs to make a mandatory self-declaration that the father is not recognised. The mother will be liable for action if it is found that her claim that the father of her issue is not identified turns out to be wrong.

As per the new bill, foreign men married to Nepali women must have resided for 15 years continuously in Nepal, renounced the citizenship of their country of origin, and be able to speak Nepali language to qualify for naturalisation.

The bill has also paved the way for non-resident Nepali nationals to acquire citizenship. According to the text of the bill, the non-resident Nepali nationals, however, will not be eligible to enjoy the political and administrative rights. It is estimated that over 5 million Nepali nationals are living in different parts of the world including neighbouring India.

The latest development on citizenship is also a big relief for thousands of people in Nepal who had been rendered stateless due to non-enactment of the new citizenship law.

Years of debate over citizenship resolved now there had been debate in Nepal’s parliament for years on whether to grant naturalised citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men once they start the process to relinquish the citizenship of the country of their origin.



Last time in June 2020, the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee held discussions on the issue. However, parliamentarians of then ruling Nepal Communist Party and then opposition Nepali Congress were sharply divided particularly with a provision that foreign women married to Nepali men would have to wait for seven years for naturalisation.

The lawmakers of the Nepali Congress along with two Terai-based parties-Rashtriya Janata Party and Samajbadi Party, were in favour of retaining the provision of granting citizenship once the woman started the process to renounce citizenship of her country of origin.

However, the then ruling Nepal Communist Party did not agree on the opposition parties’ stance, citing the example of India where it takes seven years to grant citizenship to foreign women married to Indian men. The ruling party argued that Nepal too should have a similar provision. As parliamentarians failed to forge consensus on this particular provision, the bill was endorsed through a majority from the parliamentary committee only, not forwarding the bill to the House of Representatives.

Last July, the present Nepali Congress government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba withdrew the citizenship bill from the House and registered a new one retaining the provision to grant citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men once she starts the process to give up citizenship of her country.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

ALSO READ: Nepal looks at tourism revival

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Nepal looks at tourism revival

The government plans to attract 1 million foreign tourists in the 2022-23 fiscal year which began in mid-July….reports Asian Lite News

The Nepali government has announced a number of measures to revive the tourism industry battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, including a plan to declare the years between 2023 and 2033 as Visit Nepal Decade.

Unveiling the Tourism Rehabilitation Action Plan, Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Nepal’s Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said that the government is breaking the tradition of announcing a single year as Visit Nepal Year so as to run a sustained campaign to promote tourism, a major foreign exchange earner and job creator for the country.

As per the action plan, the Visit Nepal Decade is expected to come out within the next three months, Xinhua news agency reported.

The government plans to attract 1 million foreign tourists in the 2022-23 fiscal year which began in mid-July. “We have not yet set any target for the planned Visit Nepal Decade. We have to do further homework and consultations with the stakeholders,” Hom Prasad Luitel, joint secretary at the tourism ministry, told the news agency.

Nepal received 1.19 million foreign visitors in 2019 and sought to attract 2 million in 2020 when Visit Nepal 2020 was launched, but Covid-19 forced the government to call off the campaign. As the pandemic persisted, the tourism sector fared poorly in 2020 and 2021.

Nepal was reporting more foreign visitor arrivals in 2022 as fewer people were infected. As of June, there were 237,670 foreigners visiting the South Asian country, according to the tourism ministry.

Under the new action plan, Nepal will launch promotion campaigns in China, India and Bangladesh, of them the former two being the largest sources of tourists for Nepal in normal years.

There is a plan as well to promote Nepal as a destination for meetings, conferences and exhibitions and spiritual tourism with packages of yoga, wellness and spa to be offered.

In addition, the ministry is mulling over retirement visas and healthcare facilities for elderly foreigners to stay longer in Nepal. Currently, there is no legal provision of issuing retirement visas in the country. “We will discuss it with the Ministry of Home Affairs which is responsible for visa issuance,” said Luitel.

As mountaineering is a key part of Nepal’s tourism, the country is planning to open more Himalayan peaks.

Under the action plan, more peaks at 5,800 to 8,000 meters above the sea level will be opened for mountaineering. According to authorities, Nepal has so far opened 414 peaks above 5,700 meters for climbing.

Included in the action plan are other measures like cooperation and coordination with international airlines, GPS tracking system to make trekking and mountaineering safer, multi-lingual helpline support centers for tourists and many more facilities for foreigners who come to Nepal for movie shootings.

ALSO READ: India-aided community development project launched in Nepal

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India-aided community development project launched in Nepal

India and Nepal enjoy multi-faceted and multi-sectoral development partnership that is reflective of the closeness of the people of both countries.…reports Asian Lite News

A new academic building for an educational institution is the latest India-funded community development project to be completed in Nepal.

The new building of the Sindhuli Community Technical Institute,
located in Kamalamai Municipality-6, Sindhuli District, was inaugurated by Karasang Lama, Chief, DCC Sindhuli, and Prashant Kumar Sona, Second Secretary, Embassy of India, Kathmandu, on Tuesday.

According to the Indian Embassy in Nepal, the project was carried out as a community development project at a cost of Rs. 44.18 million with grant funding from the Government of India’s Development Cooperation in Education Sector.

This is one of the 75 projects being inaugurated this year in Nepal as part of the “India@75 Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebration of India’s 75th anniversary of independence.

Since 2003, India has taken up over 527 High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) in Nepal and has completed 470 projects in the areas of health, education, drinking water, connectivity, sanitation and creation of other public utilities across all seven provinces of Nepal at the grassroots level.

Out of this, 103 HICDPs are in Bagmati Province, including four projects in Sindhuli District.



The Sindhuli Community Technical Institute was founded in 2014. It is a product of the collaborative effort between DCC and Sindhuli’s Kamalamai Municipality and the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training.

It has been offering agricultural (animal science) and civil engineering diploma programmes. With the support of Kathmandu University, it also offers bachelor’s degrees in information technology and civil engineering. Over 292 students attend the institute, with roughly 30% of them being female.

With the help of the Indian government, new infrastructure was built for the institute in Nepal, giving students the opportunity to pursue higher education.

The completion of this institute project demonstrates the continuous assistance provided by the Government of India in assisting the Government of Nepal’s efforts to build infrastructure in important areas like education.

India and Nepal enjoy multi-faceted and multi-sectoral development partnership that is reflective of the closeness of the people of both countries.

“The implementation of this Institute project reflects the continued support of the Government of India in complementing the efforts of the Government of Nepal to create infrastructure in priority sectors like education,” the Indian Embassy said.

ALSO READ: Amazon eager to fill void left by Starlink in India

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Deuba’s party going in for poll pact with coalition partners

The Nepali Congress party is now pushing for holding general and provincial elections at the earliest, being encouraged by the results of the local level election…writes Santosh Ghimire

The Nepali Congress (NC), which is the main ruling party of Nepal, has decided to forge an electoral alliance with its four coalition partners for the upcoming general and provincial elections which are likely to be held in November this year.

A week-long crucial meeting of the NC’s central committee, which ended on Monday, took a decision to this effect, according to party spokesperson Prakash Sharan Mahat.

“Our party has formally decided to forge electoral alliance with coalition partners for the upcoming general and provincial elections. Now, the party leadership will start holding dialogue with the key leaders of the ruling coalition partners,” he said.

The proposal of the Nepali Congress Party to forge the electoral alliance among the coalition partners in the upcoming elections stems from fears that the CPN (Maois t Centre), a key partner in the government, could join hands with the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) led by KP Sharma Oli in the upcoming elections, according to observers.

Deuba


Issuing a press statement on Monday evening, the Nepali Congress party vowed to steer the country towards the path of development, defend the constitution and further strengthen democracy if got the chance to lead a stable government yet again.

In local level elections held in May this year, the Nepali Congress had forged electoral alliance with the coalition partners in the present government, which catapulted the party into the first position.

Thus, the Nepali Congress party is now pushing for holding general and provincial elections at the earliest, being encouraged by the results of the local level elections, party leaders said. “We want to achieve a clear majority in the House of Representatives through the upcoming elections like what we did in the last local body polls,” NC spokesperson Mahat said.

Although the party’s Central Working Committee — in which the party president commands strong majority — made a firm decision to forge electoral alliance with the coalition partners on Monday, there were strong voices within the Nepali Congress that it should contest the elections single-handedly.

Those who were opposing the idea of forging alliance believed that the party’s base in the election constituencies will eventually erode in the long-run due to such coalition arrangements. Senior leader Shekhar Koirala was one of them who were against having any electoral partnership with other parties.

At a recent press conference, Koirala said that NC should fight the elections alone so that it can show its strength. The NC’s decision comes at a time when some second-tier leaders of the two key communist parties — the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) — held negotiations to explore the possibility of a new alliance in the upcoming elections.

According to a cabinet minister, the government is preparing to announce dates for the upcoming elections by the end of July.

Earlier in the first week of July, Nepal’s Election Commission had recommended the government to hold provincial and parliamentary elections on November 18 in a single phase. From the upcoming federal elections, 165 members will be elected to the House of Representatives, the lower house of federal parliament, under the First Past the Post electoral system and 110 will be elected under the proportional representation system.

Likewise, for seven provincial assemblies, 330 members will be elected under the direct system and 220 will be elected under the proportional system.

As per the constitution, Nepal holds local, provincial and federal elections every five years. This will be the second time the Himalayan nation holds federal and provincial elections after it adopted its first democratic republic constitution back in September 2015. The country’s national charter, also the first post-war full-fledged constitution, had federated the country into seven provinces and 753 local units.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

ALSO READ: Growing campaign in Nepal to retrieve land from China