02/27/2009, 00.00
NEPAL – CHINA

Beijing warns Kathmandu against pro-Tibet rallies in Nepal

Kalpit Parajuli
China’s deputy foreign minister visits Nepal, tells Nepalis about his country’s concerns over protests to mark the 50th anniversary of Tibet uprising. Bilateral deals are signed. China will help Nepal build a hydroelectric plant. Nepali prime minister plans to visit Beijing to sign a new friendship treaty.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Beijing is concerned about anti-Chinese rallies in Nepal to mark the 50th anniversary of the Tibet uprising against Chinese occupation and the subsequent flight of the Dalai Lama to India. It has called on Nepali authorities to keep a lid on the situation. A Chinese delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue met Nepali officials during a visit yesterday and today.

In his talks with Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and other Nepali security officials, China’s envoy stressed that 2009 was “a sensitive year” for his country, renewing concerns expressed by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in his visit to Nepal back in December.

On Wednesday self-styled activists hung a Tibet flag on the wall of the Chinese Embassy’s visa office, spray-painting ‘Free Tibet’ on the latter’s gate.

Following the talks Nepali Prime Minister’s Press Advisor Om Sharma reiterated his government’ intention to control anti-China activities (protests last August pictured).

Nepal’s defence minister said that Nepal would tighten controls on the border to prevent Dalai Lama supporters from entering Nepal.

Minister Thapa noted that “this is more than a bilateral issue between Nepal and China. The issue of Tibet is a tripartite issue between Nepal, India and China.”

At the end of his trip, China’s envoy said the meeting held in the Nepali capital were part of a “regular and normal exchange of visits,” adding that the two sides “discussed the need to work together in many areas.” He said the Chinese government is going to increase its assistance to Nepal in various fields.

One field is economic and technical cooperation. Agreements were signed, especially concerning Chinese funding for the Narsinghgad Hydropower Project in Jajarkot, in western Nepal.

Nepali officials also announced that Prime Minister Dahal and Foreign Minister Thapa will visit Beijing at the end of the April and mid-May.

The Nepali government spokesman said that the trips will allow the parties to finalise a peace and friendship treaty that will define relations between the two countries.

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