Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda (L) with China President Xi Jinping/File Photo
KATHMANDU: A meeting between Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to take place in Hangzhou, China, today.
This meeting is part of PM Dahal’s broader Hangzhou-Tibet tour program, which, observers note, carries significant diplomatic weight.
PM Dahal, who participated in the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics alongside then-President Hu Jintao, is to attend the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games, alongside world leaders like Cambodia’s King Narodam Sinhanouk and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
During his stay in China, Prime Minister Dahal will engage in two separate meetings with President Xi, complete with a lunch reception in Hangzhou.
While it is unlikely that this visit will yield significant long-term agreements, China has placed importance on Dahal’s arrival.
PM Dahal is scheduled to participate in a lunch meeting with President Xi in Hangzhou.
In the evening, PM Dahal will hold a bilateral meeting with President Xi.
While there are two more crucial meetings awaiting PM Dahal in Beijing, the Xi-Dahal meeting in Hangzhou is expected to chart the course of Nepal-China relations in the future.
A topic of discussion will likely be China’s proposed draft of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) implementation agreement with Nepal, to which Nepal has yet to respond.
The outcome will depend on Prime Minister Dahal’s decision regarding the agreement.
PM Dahal will also visit the headquarters of the Alibaba Group this evening.
Later, PM Dahal will participate in the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games alongside President Xi and fellow international dignitaries.
He will return home on September 30.