According to a media report on Tuesday, China and Nepal have agreed to speed up the completion of projects that the Chinese government had previously indicated would be completed in 2018 and 2019 as part of the contentious Belt and Road Initiative. The projects are intended to improve infrastructure in the landlocked Himalayan country.

The deal was made at a meeting between Dr. Min Bahadur Shrestha, vice chairman of the Nepalese National Planning Commission (NPC), and Chong Liang, vice chairman of the Chinese government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which is in charge of managing the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) implementation.

In September, China is slated to host Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, or “Prachanda.”

Both parties stressed the need for swift completion of preparatory work on both sides to accelerate major connectivity projects in accordance with the previously agreed-upon commitments during the meeting, according to the My Republica news portal. During the meeting, both parties discussed the progress in implementing various programs and projects announced by the Chinese government.

During their meeting in Beijing, the two parties had in-depth talks on the tasks still left for the governments of China and Nepal to complete.

To promote greater collaboration between the two neighbors, China has been aggressively investing in several infrastructure projects in Nepal.

N P Saud, the foreign minister of Nepal, said on Monday that while the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreement between his country and China had not yet been put into effect, conversations about it were in progress.

On May 12, 2017, Nepal and China agreed to cooperate on the One Belt One Road plan, often known as BRI, which is the centerpiece of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s foreign policy.

The agreement intends to boost cross-border projects in the areas of rail, road, civil aviation, power grid, information, and communication while also facilitating transit transport, logistics, transport network security, and associated infrastructure development.

President Xi proposed the BRI in 2013. With a network of land and water routes, it seeks to connect Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf area, Africa, and Europe.

The BRI’s main project is the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

India has voiced significant opposition to the CPEC, which is being built through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), to China.

India opposes the BRI as well, which raised worries about China’s debt diplomacy of giving large loans to less developed nations for unsustainable infrastructure projects.

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