KATHMANDU: Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" is likely to visit China next month or in early August, a leader of the ruling party said on Friday, in what could be the senior Maoist leader's second bilateral visit abroad since assuming office in December 2022.
Prachanda on Wednesday left for India on a four-day official visit for talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and other leaders to further bolster the age-old, multifaceted and cordial ties between the two countries. Prachanda is currently leading a high-level delegation of more than 100 members to India.
This is the 68-year-old Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) leader's first bilateral visit abroad since assuming office last year. Following his visit to India, he is likely to visit China next month.
"The Prime Minister will visit China towards the end of July or the first week of August," CPN (Maoist Centre) Vice-Chair Agni Sapkota told reporters here.
Sapkota, who led a delegation to China, returned from Beijing on Friday after a two-week-long visit at the invitation of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
"We discussed with Chinese leaders about providing concessional loans under the Belt and Road Initiative as well as grant assistance for supporting economic development in Nepal," he said.
Sapkota asserted that the Nepali delegation also requested China to commence direct flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa, Tibet's capital, to boost bilateral trade.
"We also expressed our commitment to the 'One China Policy', 'Non-Aligned Foreign Policy', 'Principles of Panchsheel' and the United Nations Declarations," the senior Maoist leader added.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013.
It aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes.
China is stepping up its forays into Nepal through various infrastructure ventures, including the trans-Himalayan connectivity projects, under the BRI.
Beijing has signed the BRI framework agreement with Nepal which envisages trans-Himalayan electric transmission lines and a railway network between Nepal and China.