Nepal PM to revisit China May 2: report

April 22nd, 2009 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, April 22 (IANS) Nepal’s first Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, who kicked up a controversy last year when he chose to visit China before India, is scheduled to make his second visit to Beijing from May 2, a report said Wednesday.
During his eight-day visit, Prachanda will inspect the controversial Three Gorges Dam project that is expected to generate 22,500 MW by 2011 and the industrial area in Shanghai, the Kantipur daily reported.

It was not known immediately if the Nepal PM would also ink a new peace and friendship treaty that Beijing is keen to sign with its southern neighbour.

Though a visiting Chinese delegation has handed over a draft of the proposed treaty, it has not been discussed by the Maoists with their coalition allies and the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress.

Any unanimous decision is bound to trigger further friction among the major parties who are already engaged in an acerbic battle over the firing of the army chief just four months before he is due to retire.

Ahead of Prachanda’s visit, China has stepped up its aid to the Himalayan nation, increasing its annual development assistance to 150 million yuan (over $21 million) from the earlier 100 million yuan (about $14 million).

Nepal is seeking further Chinese investment in its infrastructure, hospitality and hydropower sectors and has been urging Beijing to extend its Tibet railway line to the Nepal border.

China on the other hand seeks Nepal’s all-out support to muzzle anti-China protests by Tibetan dissenters.

There was no immediate official corroboration of the visit dates.

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