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China and Nepal agreed on Saturday to upgrade their relations to a strategic partnership of cooperation featuring everlasting friendship for development and prosperity.|
The agreement was made when Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari in Kathmandu.
Xi said that he came to Nepal as scheduled after Bhandari warmly invited him for a visit this year when they met in Beijing in April. He also agreed with Bhandari's statement that there is only friendship and cooperation between China and Nepal.
Xi said that he saw sincere smile on the faces of the Nepali people and felt the friendship from the depths of their heart toward the Chinese people, adding that he felt once again that the China-Nepal friendship enjoys broad consensus and solid foundation in Nepal.
The two peoples have shared weal and woe, and set an example of friendly exchanges between neighboring countries, said Xi, adding that he hopes to carry forward the traditional friendship and take the bilateral relationship to a new and higher level via the visit.
Xi called on the two sides to consolidate the political foundation of bilateral ties, and set the building of a community with a shared future as a long-term goal for the development of China-Nepal relations.
The Chinese president appreciated Nepal's firm adherence to the one-China policy, saying that China will as always support Nepal in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The two sides should build an all-round cooperation pattern, carry out the construction of a trans-Himalayan connectivity network, and expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields, Xi said.
Noting that China just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Xi said that China will continue to deepen reform and expand opening-up so as to advance high-quality development.
A stable, open and prosperous China will always be a development opportunity for Nepal and the rest of the world, the Chinese leader added.
For her part, Bhandari warmly welcomed Xi's state visit to Nepal and congratulated again on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, saying that Nepal is willing to learn from China's successful development experience.
Bhandari said she believes that the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, will realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, which will definitely bring benefits to Nepal, and help promote regional peace, development and prosperity.
Noting that Xi is the first Chinese president to visit Nepal in 23 years, Bhandari said the visit is of historic significance, adding that the two countries' announcement of establishing a strategic partnership of cooperation will consolidate the two countries' traditional friendship, enrich the contents of bilateral ties and usher in a new era for the Nepal-China relationship.
Nepal, she said, respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never allow any anti-China force to engage in anti-China activities in Nepal, adding that Nepal is willing to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and the building of a trans-Himalayan connectivity network.
Xi also met with President of the Nepali Congress Party Sher Bahadur Deuba, expressing the readiness to conduct exchanges and cooperation.
Noting that the Nepali Congress Party enjoys a historical connection with China, Xi said the Chinese people will not forget the party's contributions to the China-Nepal relationship during the party's ruling period.
Xi said that China and Nepal, as friendly neighbors, have always been good brothers and good friends, adding that no matter which Nepali party is in power, the two countries will maintain stable and friendly relations.
The Chinese leader said the Communist Party of China (CPC) is willing to maintain contacts with the Nepali Congress Party, and further carry out exchanges and cooperation.
During the meeting with Chairman of National Assembly of Nepal Ganesh Prasad Timilsina on Saturday, Xi said that the Chinese side stands ready to enhance communication and cooperation with the Nepali legislatures and jointly consolidate the friendship between the two countries.
Timilsina said his country is lucky to participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road, and is convinced that the great initiative will score an even bigger success.
The National Assembly of Nepal is ready to strengthen communication and cooperation with the Chinese legislatures and make efforts to promote the Nepal-China friendship, he said.
On Saturday evening, President Xi attended a grand welcome banquet held by Bhandari.
Xi said he looks forward to achieving closer political ties between the two countries, building a more convenient internet network between the two sides, and enriching multilateral cooperation between China and Nepal.
Bhandari said at the banquet that Nepal and China have always trusted and respected each other.
"The friendship between Nepal and China is unbreakable. It is as deep as the sea and as high as Mt. Qomolangma. I believe that the future of Nepal-China friendship will be even broader," she added.
(With input from Xinhua)