Chinese Defense Minister Wei likely to visit Nepal this month: Defense sources


November 20, 2020


Chinese Defense Minister Wei likely to visit Nepal this month: Defense sources

Chinese Defense Minister and State Councilor Wei Fenghe. (Photo: Ministry of Defense, China)

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KATHMANDU: Chinese Defense Minister and State Councilor Wei Fenghe is scheduled to visit Nepal later this month, Defense Ministry sources have said.

“It is almost certain that the Chinese Defense Minister is visiting Nepal. Some formalities are yet to be finalized,” senior defense source said adding that the visit is scheduled to take place in November.

Defense Minister Fenghe is likely to be the first high-ranking Chinese official to visit Nepal since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit in October last year.

General Wei, a former rocket force commander with the Chinese military PLA, is the first of four members of the Central Military Commission chaired by President Xi Jinping.

His visit is considered meaningful at a time when the ruling Nepal Communist Party is engaged in intra-party row.

Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi is visiting Nepal in the last week of November.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang will remain in Kathmandu for 12 hours.

During his stay in the capital, he will pay visits to President Bidhya Bhandari, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Nepali counterpart Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, among others.

It is learnt that he will land in Kathmandu for a short time and hold meetings with the dignitaries in Nepal in the course of visiting other countries.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi has intensified her political meetings at a time when the ruling NCP is on the brink of collapse. China’s Foreign Minister Wang is visiting Nepal at the backdrop of this this political scenario of the country.

Wang’s upcoming Nepal visit is, hence, viewed significant amid public voices being raised against international intervention in the internal politics of the country.

His visit coincides with the intra-party dispute in the ruling NCP and the efforts of the Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi to keep the party intact.

There have been instances of Ambassador Yanqi’s hectic meetings with top NCP leaders as the intra-party row takes a new height.

Foreign affairs experts have speculated that northern neighbor China is engaged in micro-management of the political affairs of Nepal, of late.

However, the exact date of Wang’s arrival has not been fixed yet.  Officials of both the countries are working on it, according to sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once the schedule is fixed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will unveil the date of arrival.

Earlier, Wang had visited Nepal on September 8-9 in 2019 at the invitation of his Nepal’s counterpart Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali.

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