The new draft shows China’s desire to improve ties with Nepal through its heritage institutions
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 19, 2011
KATHMANDU, DEC 06 – In a bid to redefine bilateral relations in line with the changed political context of Nepal, China has handed a draft of the new Nepal-China Cultural Cooperation Treaty.
The three-page draft treaty given to Culture Minister Minendra Rijal by visiting Chinese Culture Minister Cai Wu in a bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Culture on Sunday is expected to replace the existing Nepal-China Cultural Cooperation Agreement of 1999. The move comes a year after the northern neighbour offered a renewal of the Nepal-China Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1960. The 1999 Cultural Cooperation Agreement had replaced the first 1964 agreement on Sino-Nepalese Cultural cooperation.
Visiting Chinese Cultural Minister Cai is regarded an influential leader in the Chinese Communist Party. “He (Cai) handed over the copy of the new treaty to our minister. We will address the Chinese offer with due respect later,” Secretary to the Ministry of Culture Mod Raj Dotel said after the meeting.
Cai is here on a three-day trip. “I am here to give momentum to the Nepal-China cultural exchanges and boost the bilateral development partnership,” said Cai after his arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport.
The new draft shows China’s desire to improve ties through its heritage institutions like the Confucius Center as well as exchanges of official and non official trips, tourism promotion and diplomacy deliberations since the last one decade, said an official at the culture ministry.
The new proposal includes exchanges in literature, art, broadcasting, science, religion, photography, publications and education. Sources said the Chinese side has also offered to increase its annual educational scholarship quota to Nepali citizens from its current quantum of 100 to 200.
It has also offered to increase the number of tourists coming to Nepal significantly. “It offers more exchanges and cooperation on the cultural front, reflecting new political dimensions of Nepal,” said an official.
It has also offered to provide scholarships to Nepali bureaucrats, including those from the military and non-military fields. The Nepali side has offered to build a Buddhist Circuit around the birthplace of Gautam Buddha in Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Nawalparasi districts to attract Buddhist tourists to Nepal. Sources said the Chinese side has responded to this proposal positively and that the visiting Chinese minister will visit Lumbini to inspect the prospects.
@The Kathmandu Post