Bishnu Shrestha, Nepal's ambassador to China (Haiwainet/Lu Ningyuan)
China and Nepal are linked by mountains and rivers and enjoy friendship of generations that continues to this day. Bishnu Shrestha, Nepal's ambassador to China, said in an interview with People’s Daily Overseas Edition the other day that as the Multidimensional Trans-Himalayan Connectivity Network moves from vision to reality, China-Nepal cooperation in all fields has broad prospects and the relationship between people of both countries has continuously deepened.
Rara Lake in Nepal (Photo/Embassy of Nepal to China)
“Chinese People are hard-working”
In July 2022, Shrestha took office in China. Shrestha felt the pulse of China’s development as he traveled across Beijing, Shandong, Ningxia....
In Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Shrestha saw China as a country of green development. According to Shrestha, the local people work hard and “have turned the desert into an oasis of fragrant melons and fruits.” He believes that the result of ecological improvement of the Yellow River is another example of “Green China”. “When I read geography in Nepal, I learned that the Yellow River is the mother river of China. In history, the Yellow River brought floods to the residents along its banks, but now, after improvement and protection work by the government, it blesses the people.”
Shrestha said with emotion that “Green China” is synchronized with touching stories of how Chinese people achieved poverty alleviation and realize prosperity. After a thorough understanding of the production and life of local residents in Ningxia, Shrestha said he was impressed by the local government's approach to leading the people out of poverty. “In the past, people lived in poverty. Local people say, ‘we didn’t know where the next meal came from’. But now their lives have improved significantly and their income has increased.” One after another vivid and concrete stories of poverty alleviation let Shrestha see the courage, diligence and other good qualities of the Chinese people. He said, “Chinese people are hardworking. They can achieve anything if they are committed to doing it.”
Shrestha hopes to visit more cities in the future and deeply feel the rapid development of China. “There are multiple cities that have the sister-city relationship between Nepal and China and I look forward to visiting them. We hope there will be more cities having such relations between both countries, which will promote social development and enhance friendship among the people,” he said.
Local artists perform during the inauguration ceremony for the Confucius Institute at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Confucius Institute at Tribhuvan University, the second of its kind in Nepal, was inaugurated on Aug. 16, 2022 in the Nepali capital Kathmandu. (Xinhua/Hari Maharjan)
“‘High quality development’ is vigorously used in the newspaper”
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has become another important window for Shrestha to understand China. “High-quality development” ,“Chinese modernization”, “put the people first”... Shrestha can blurt out any of the key words mentioned in the report of the 20th CPC National Congress. He said, “The 20th CPC National Congress is an important event for the world and for Nepal. We are closely following the event to understand what China is doing now and where China is heading in the future.”
Shrestha pays particular attention to what the report of the 20th CPC National Congress refers to as “high-quality development”. He says over 1.4 billion Chinese people have shared the fruits of its development and high-quality development has made remarkable progress. “As far as I can see, ‘high quality development’ has been vigorously used during this time in the newspaper."
In 2021, China has completed the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, historically solving the problem of absolute poverty. Shrestha said, “The report of the 20th CPC National Congress conveys an important message that under the leadership of the CPC, China has built a moderately prosperous society and that China is working hard to build a modern socialist country. As we have seen with our own eyes, what the CPC committed will be successfully completed.”
According to Shrestha, it is the adherence to the concept of “putting the people first” that has enabled the CPC's commitment to the people to take root and enabled China to flourish. “CPC is for the people, by the people and is established for the wellbeing of the people. That is one of the most important things in the report of the 20th CPC National Congress. China’s progress has been made as a result of the unity and struggle of the Chinese people,” Shrestha said.
Traditional Wedding in Nepal (Photo/Embassy of Nepal to China)
“We encourage more students to study in China”
The development of China has brought opportunities to Nepal, and the strategic cooperation partnership between Nepal and China has been continuously deepened. The China-Nepal railway constitutes an important link in the Multidimensional Trans-Himalayan Connectivity Network. The China-Nepal railway proposal was initiated in 2016, when Nepali Prime Minister Oli visited China and signed ten agreements with China, including a plan to build a railway line between the two countries. In August this year, the Chinese side said that China and Nepal will jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in a high-quality way and accelerate the feasibility study of cross-border railway. This means that China and Nepal keep going forward to build the “sky railway” across the Himalayas. People from all walks of life in Nepal believe that the enhanced connectivity between the two countries under the framework of BRI will transform Nepal from a “landlocked” to a “land-linked” country.
Shrestha said that the Nepalese side is optimistic about the construction of the China-Nepal railway. “The railway connectivity between Nepal and China will be conducive to enhancing the bonding and interaction between the people.” Apart from transport connectivity, China-Nepal cooperation in various areas is also under way. The enthusiasm of Nepalese exhibitors in attending the China International Import Expo (CIIE) is a testimony to the sharing of development opportunities and achieving of mutual benefits between the two countries. Shrestha said that with many Nepalese traders attending the CIIE this year, it has become an important platform for Nepal to develop its trade. “International economic and trade events like the CIIE can promote trade among countries and cities.”
With the deepening of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, more and more Nepalese are learning the Chinese language and culture, and the number of Nepalese students studying in China is growing steadily. “Many students are receiving education in China and will apply the knowledge to the development and construction of Nepal,” said Shrestha, “The Nepalese government is planning to offer Chinese classes in high schools, which will encourage more Nepalese students to study in China.”
By Wu Huimin