Monday, 27 May, 2024

Keenly Awaited Visit

Bini Dahal

President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, is slated to arrive in Kathmandu on a two-day State visit to Nepal. This visit can be considered a historical one as no Chinese president had ever visited Nepal since 1996 when the then Chinese President Jiang Zemin had come to the country.

It is needless to say that Nepal and China have always shared a cordial and friendly bilateral relationship. And the foundation of this relationship began centuries ago when Lichhavi princess Bhrikuti was married to Tsrong Chong Gompo, the King of Tibet, and also when Arniko utilised his architectural ideas to construct masterpieces around China during the regime of Kublai Khan. The early visits of Chinese monks and scholars such as Monk Fa Xian from Jin Dynasty and Monk Xuan Zang from Tang Dynasty, among others, have also helped in the whole relation-building process.

With China being a major economic power and the most populous nation in the world, Nepal as a neighbour has benefitted immensely from her in the fields trade and economy. The northern neighbor has played an important role in Nepal’s development as it regularly assists developmental projects.

The impending high-level visit will not only help give continuity to the Chinese support but also will expand it.
One of the many positive effects of the visit will be noticed during the upcoming Visit Nepal Year 2020 (VNY 2020). Since the Government of Nepal is going to launch the ambitious national tourism campaign in the near future, the relevant agencies have not been able to promote it in a full-fledged manner. However, Xi’s visit to Nepal alone can be instrumental in highlighting our nation as an important tourist destination for potential Chinese tourists. The visit will surely help highlight Nepal among the Chinese populace.

According to a report published by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Nepal received a total of 85,318 Chinese tourists in the first six months this year.

The figure is 19.53 per cent rise to the Chinese 71,379 tourists of 2018. Thanks to the excellent road and air connectivity, the already growing Chinese tourist source market will further grow. Because of China’s huge population and fast-growing economy, the number of Chinese outbound tourists has been increasing annually. If the growth trend in the number of Chinese tourist continues, China is expected to emerge as the largest tourist source market for Nepal, even bypassing India, in the days ahead.

In order to help diversify trade around the globe, China has initiated various kinds of ventures.

One of them includes Belt Road Imitative (BRI) in which nearly all of the nations from around the world have enlisted themselves as beneficiaries and this list incorporates Nepal as well. Once the BRI gets completed, it could be a good means of achieving economic prosperity by the means of infrastructure and connectivity development. The initiative is expected to promote and incorporate economies, bring markets together and invest in infrastructures, playing an important role in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Xi’s scheduled visit has brought a lot of enthusiasm among the Nepali people as the northern neighbor is not only a powerful nation but it also shares a very strong bond of friendship from centuries. The bond that the two countries share is not just limited to political and diplomatic levels. There are multi-dimensional aspects involved in the bilateral relations.

The exchanges of high-level delegations between the two friendly nations help boost these aspects. From the era of Bhrikuti up until today, the two nations have evolved a lot.