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Ambassador Yang Houlan's Address at the Opening Ceremony of the Intensive Multi Perspective Seminar on Nepal-China relations: Past, Present and Future

(August 1, 2011)

Right Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Jhala Nath Khanal, Honorable Minister Mr. G. S. Bhusal,

Mr. Dipak Sarkar, President of Nepal World Culture Net,

Mr. Jing Dunquan, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries,

Distinguished guests, Excellencies, friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

I am very pleased to attend the opening ceremony of the Intensive Multi Perspective Seminar on Nepal-China relations: Past, Present and Future on this very day which commemorates the establishment of diplomatic ties between Nepal and China. Right Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Jhala Nath Khanal attend today's function from your busy schedule along with many other Nepali friends. It shows the Nepali side attaches great importance to China-Nepal relations. I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude towards this.

Nepal and China are linked by mountains and rivers, and the two peoples enjoy friendship for generations. 56 years ago, it was on this day when China and Nepal established diplomatic relations. Looking back on 56 years of history, no matter how international and domestic situation changed, China-Nepal relations have maintained healthy and smooth development. And I think there are mainly three reasons:

First, China-Nepal friendship is historic and broad-based. There is a beautiful legend that a Chinese bodhisattva came to Nepal and opened Kathmandu Valley. According to the historic record, as early as 1500 years ago, Nepal and China enjoyed friendly exchanges. The historical stories of the Chinese monk Fa Xian, Xuan Zang, and Nepal’s Princess Bhrukuti, Architect Arniko are still popular among the two peoples. The friendship between China and Nepal has been inherited deeply in the two peoples’ heart. Although I have been in Nepal only over one-month time, I have deeply sensed the brotherly feelings from the Nepali people towards China.

Second, China and Nepal share mutual respect and treat each other equally. Based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, our bilateral relations have developed with respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interfere in internal affairs, and mutual trust has been growing constantly.

Third, we take care of each other's core concerns. Each government of Nepal firmly sticks to the one-China principle, recognizing Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of Chinese territory. The Chinese Government has been supporting Nepal's peace, stability and development, and is willing to continue to provide assistance within its capacity.

In 2009, state leaders of the two countries agreed to establish China-Nepal Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership featuring ever-lasting friendship and bring the bilateral relations to a new height. Since then, high-level visits between the two countries are more frequent. The exchanges and cooperation in various fields have developed comprehensively. In 2010, our bilateral trade volume amounted to 744 million dollars, up 80% over the previous year. In the first five months of 2011, the number of Chinese citizens visiting Nepal reached 18,900, 40 % more than last year.

With Nepal’s moving toward peace and stability, China-Nepal relations face greater opportunities. In my opinion, both sides can focus their efforts on the following aspects: first, politically, we should strengthen high-level visits, increase mutual political trust and further consolidate the political foundation of bilateral friendship and cooperation. Second, we should engage in more pragmatic cooperation in areas such as economy, hydropower, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure. Meanwhile, we should continue to accelerate the construction of transportation means between the two countries so that the economic ties between the two countries can be closer. Third, we should further expand cultural, youth, women, and inter-party exchanges, so as to consolidate and enhance the friendship between the two peoples.

Considering the bilateral relations in the past and present, I am confident in the future of China-Nepal relations. China would like to work together with Nepal to make more contribution to world peace, stability and prosperity. As the new ambassador to Nepal, I will try my best to work together with Nepali side to achieve development and prosperity for bilateral Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership featuring ever-lasting friendship and create a better future between the two countries.

Finally, I wish the seminar a complete success and make great achievements! May the friendship between China and Nepal last forever!

Thank you.

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