12/31/2009, 00.00
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Nepal changes position: Tibet is part of China, an end to protests

by Kalpit Parajuli
The new prime minister arrives in Beijing and Kathmandu guarantees Chinese President Hu Jintao secessionist activities in the territory of Nepal will not be permitted. In exchange, trade and development.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Nepal "will do everything to stop anti-Chinese activities on its territory, and recognizes Tibet and Taiwan as an inalienable part of the territory ruled by Beijing. For this, no-one will be allowed to use Nepal territory to harm Chinese interests”, said the Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar of Kathmandu  yesterday to Chinese President Hu Jintao, during his first official visit to Beijing. The visiting premier also met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Wu Bangguo, member of the Politburo.  

The Nepalese delegation also included the Minister of Water Resources, Prakash Sharan Mahat, who added: "In less than half an hour of talks, the two leaders recognized the great cooperation that has formed between the two countries since bilateral diplomatic relations were born 54 years ago. The Chinese president has assured his full support". The political adviser Raghuji Panta said that Hu Jintao “described Nepal as a very important friend for China".    

The visit of the Nepalese lasted six days and started in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Arriving in Beijing on 28 December, the Nepali leader met Wen Jiabao. The two have signed an agreement for the exchange of students between the two nations and several agreements on economic cooperation. In a separate meeting, the Nepalese Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi signed two separate memoranda of economic cooperation to a value of 1.5 billion rupees.    

Over the past six months, China has doubled its economic aid to Nepal. Under the new agreements, Beijing is committed to enhancing the export of Nepalese products in its territory, and encourages Chinese companies to participate in projects of infrastructure construction in the mountainous region. According to Wen Jiabao, also, "China respects and supports the social system and development chosen by Kathmandu, and will do everything possible to ensure stability."    

The new official position of Nepal marks a blow to the Tibetan diaspora, who had found political refuge in the territory governed from Kathmandu. The exile began in 1959 when the Dalai Lama was forced to flee from Lhasa to find refuge in India. Since then, approximately 20 thousand Tibetans have settled in Nepal, and therein often demonstarte against Chinese repression of Tibet. The political agreement between the two countries put a stop to all this.

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