Jha addressed the opening ceremony of the first China-Asia Exposition held in Kunming, Yunnan Province on June 7, and had talks with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao Friday afternoon to “exchange political concerns,” according to the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing.
China has increased its investments in Nepal in recent years, leading to some suspicions that China is using investment to expand its influence in Nepal. Jha refuted this view and said Nepal welcomes Chinese investment. “I have never heard from anybody who does not like to have investment from China,” Jha told the Global Times.
He appealed to Chinese investors for more investment in sectors such as hydropower and infrastructure and said he hoped China could provide more technological assistance to Nepal in the agricultural field. Jha told the Global Times that half of Nepal is still living without electricity, which is restricting the country’s development, and that Nepal welcomes more Chinese investment in the hydropower sector to help it develop its rich water resources.
Impressed by China’s new agricultural technology in Kunming, Jha also called on China to aid Nepal with agricultural technology transfers. Jha said Nepal should seek more opportunities to benefit from China’s rise.
Jha also expressed concerns over the widening trade deficit with China, and hoped China could make more concessions to boost Nepal’s exports to China.
Commenting on the trilateral relationship of China, India and Nepal, Jha said Nepal tries to get help from both of its large neighbors. Given the competition between China and India, Nepal has no alternative but to balance its relationship with the two countries. On the one hand, Jha said Nepal has a close relationship with India, but on the other, he guaranteed that “Nepali land cannot be used against China.”
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