China is gearing up for its 18th Congress of the CPC which will set up future policy of one of the world’s most powerful nation and close neighbor of Nepal. Considering the importance that China’s economic and social prosperity development carries in Nepal’s similar sector, Reporters Club Nepal’s President Rishi Dhamala and Reportersnepal.com’s Chitra Raj Bhandari interacted with ambassador Houlan on issues related to media, development and China’s 18th National Congress of the CPC.
1.What do you think of the role of the media in Nepal in promoting the exchanges between Nepal and China ?
For a long time, the Nepali media has been playing an active role in promoting the exchanges of the two countries in various fields, which helps increase the mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries and peoples. Since taking office last year , I have been engaged with the Nepali media extensively. I make a lot of media friends. They leave me a good and deep impression. Firstly, the Nepali media care about China’s development. Media friends always ask me the situation of the development of China in political, economic and other fields. Their enthusiasm is beyond my imagination.
Secondly, Nepali media pay special attention to the Nepal-China relations. Friends in the media are concerned about the bilateral high-level visits, economic and trade exchanges, cultural exchanges between the two countries. The exchanges and cooperation in any field will cause a great deal of interest in the local media, and will be widely reported.
Thirdly, Nepali media is generally friendly to China. There are a large number of media in Nepal, but their attitude toward China is friendly and frank. This is the reflection that Nepali people are generally friendly to China.
2. What can the Reporters Club of Nepal do in this regard ?
The Reporters Club of Nepal is an influential media platform. Many influential people from all walks of life and many envoys in Nepal, including me, have delivered speeches there. I hope the Reporters Club of Nepal can organize some more interactive activities about China, and make new contributions to promoting the development of bilateral relations. Chinese Embassy in Nepal is willing to continue to participate in the various activities of the Reporters Club of Nepal.
2. How do you comment on the current China-Nepal relations?
China and Nepal are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. The friendly exchanges between the two countries have a long history. Since China and Nepal established diplomatic ties in 1955, the bilateral relations have always maintained a healthy and stable development.
In 2009, our bilateral relations have been uplifted to the Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation featuring Ever-lasting Friendship. At the beginning of this year, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid a successful visit to Nepal. The two sides issued a Joint Statement and reached a series of consensus on the cooperation in various fields. Since then, China-Nepal relations have stood on a new historical starting point.
At present, our bilateral relations are developing on a healthy, stable and comprehensive track. Firstly, the exchange of high-level visits is frequent and the mutual political trust is deepening.
Secondly, the economic cooperation is deepening and the concrete cooperation is being advanced steadily. From January to August this year, our bilateral trade volume amounted to 917 million USD, increasing by 57.1% compared to the same period of last year.
There have been strong, reputable Chinese enterprises come to and invest in Nepal. China also vigorously carries out the assistance to Nepal. During Premier Wen’s visit to Nepal, he announced that China will provide 750 million yuan of grant to Nepal in next three years. The Kathmandu ring road reconstruction as well as other projects assisted by China is also being implemented speedily.
Thirdly, humanities exchanges are dynamic and the content is rich and colorful. The two sides signed Cultural Exchange Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Chinese cultural Center in Nepal.
Hon. Mr. Kiraty, Minister for Culture for Nepal went to Hongkong to participate in the Third World Buddhist Forum. Nepalese cultural festival held in Beijing for the first time. And the Happy Spring Festival, Ambassador Cup Chinese Language Competition, Chinese Film Festival were also held successfully in Nepal.
3. In what areas that China would expand for boosting Nepal’s economic growth ?
Chinese side would take measures to enhance the pragmatic cooperation in economic and trade secters in order to promote Nepal’s economic development as follows: the first is to expand bilateral trade.
Chinese side has offered Nepal zero tariffs to more than 5000 commodities. We hope Nepal side could take full advantage of this to promote Chinese side to import more goods from Nepal and expand bilateral trade volume. The second is to increase investment to Nepal.
Chinese side would continuously encourage qualified Chinese companies with good reputation to invest in Nepal. We hope both sides could enhance cooperation in fields of infrastructure, hydropower, agriculture, tourism, etc.
The third is to strengthen assistance to Nepal. China will continue to increase the aid efforts to Nepal, lifting Nepal’s traffic and infrastructure level, sending more Nepali students to China, and inviting more Nepali officials to China for training.
4. What is China’s assessment of Nepal’s present political development?
Currently, Nepal is in the process of political transition. Although the peace process has almost come to an end, the constitution drafting has confronted many frustrations. Parties are divided over some political issues. China sincerely hopes that all parties in Nepal could enhance communications and negotiation, and reach consensus at the earliest in order to finish the constitution drafting process.
5. Please brief us the economic development, foreign policy and external relations of China and the importance of 18th National Congress of CPC for Nepal?
China’s economy has maintained an average annual growth rate of more than 10% in the last decade, which has created a Chinese miracle featured sustained and rapid growth while the world economy has undergone rapid unrest. China’s GDP has already ranked second in the world, and the per capita GDP has been more than 5000 U.S. dollars. The Foreign exchange reserves are now ranking first in the world. Currently, China is the largest export country, the second largest import and highest foreign direct investment country, the fifth largest overseas investment country and the largest emerging market, and its rate of contribution to the world economic growth is over 20%.
China adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace, pursues an opening-up strategy featuring mutual benefit and win-win results, firmly safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests, and actively promote the establishment of a more equal and more balanced new global partnership for development, strengthens the North-South dialogue and South-South cooperation, enhances foreign aids, safeguards the common interests of the developing countries, and pushes the international order toward a fairer and more rational direction. China’s stand, including the path of peaceful development and the building of a harmonious world, has broken through the traditional model of the rising of big powers, a powerful country seek hegemony usually, and is now affecting the world profoundly.
Strengthening relations with China is increasingly becoming the mainstream of national policies of many countries, and China has begun the process to build a new type of relations with major power, and China’s interests with the neighboring countries have been further deepened.
China’s influence in the international arena is increasing. In international and regional affairs, China always insists on the maintenance of the United Nations and the Security Council’s authority, actively assume its international responsibilities, involves in the process of construction and reform of the multilateral mechanisms, positively participates in the coordination in policies of international macro-economy, actively promotes economic globalization and regional economic integration, becomes an important party in international coordination and cooperation in counter-terrorism, climate change, energy resources and food security and other global issues, and plays a unique and constructive role in international and regional hotspot issues.
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, is a very important meeting during the critical period of the building a moderately prosperous society and the deepening of reform and opening up, and the important stage of the acceleration of the transformation of economic development pattern. The congress will summarize the brilliant achievements and valuable experiences since the 16th Congress of the CPC especially over the past five years, and will introduce the strategic plan of comprehensively promoting the reform and opening up, socialist modernization, and the new great project of party building in the future.
The Chinese Communist Party will unite and lead Chinese people of all ethnic groups to adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, to emancipate the mind, to persist in reform and opening up, to gather strength, to overcome the difficulties, and to strive for the realization of building a moderately prosperous society by 2020, and to achieve socialist modernization in the middle of this century.