A message was conveyed to Nepalese Foreign Secretary Shankar Bairagi by the Chinese ambassador to Nepal Wu Chuntai during a meeting two days ago that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was expected to visit Nepal in October, has cancelled the trip. This can be seen as a setback to bilateral relations between the two countries. The decision comes at a time when Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is preparing to visit India for a three-day trip starting September 15. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month extended an invitation to Dahal to visit India at the earliest.
Sources told The Indian Express that the Chinese side expressed disappointment with Nepal over a host of issues. According to sources, the Chinese are displeased with Nepal’s apparent lack of preparedness and commitment to joining its One Belt, One Road project — a framework that proposes connectivity and cooperation between China and the rest of Eurasia. The Chinese are also learnt to be unhappy over the Nepalese side “not implementing the agreements and understandings” reached between the two countries during former Nepal prime minister K P Oli’s visit to Beijing in March.