Nepal to Sign up Pact with China on OBOR Initiative

China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy was launched in 2013 and is aimed at developing infrastructure and strengthening ties between Eurasian countries, focusing on the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.

Kathmandu: Nepal on Monday made a decision to be a part of China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"The growth is faster than the global average", said Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming at a press conference in Beijing.

During his recent visit to China, Prachanda had assured the Chinese leadership that Nepal will become part of the Belt and Road Initiative ahead of the conference in Beijing.

In April, 2017, a freight train bound for China left the United Kingdom, marking an inaugural 12,000km rail journey from the two countries, while Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos has publically supported the initiative in recent days.

The others are Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Laos President Bounnhang Vorachit.

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Maybe the most prominent, and still unresolved, example of a China-Southeast Asia infrastructure deal that soured was the Mytsone Dam project in Myanmar's Kachin State.

China has, though, outlined its ambitions in Chinese language pieces.

In Sri Lanka, there have been public protests against projects linked to the Belt and Road, and in Pakistan, where Islamist militants pose a security threat, the government has set up a new army division to protect the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a key part of the new Silk Road. China-lover Raffarin was chosen to participate in the high-level Forum, because France will be inaugurating its new President, Emmanuel Macron, that weekend. Construction of the road between Gwadar and Saindak will be the shortest route between Central Asia and the sea and the port at Gwadar offers Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics access to the sea, particularly for their oil and gas industries.

Senior Researcher on the OBOR at the SADF Siegfried Wolf was, however, in full support of Beijing as he highlighted the fact that through the OBOR, China aimed to build a multi-polar world conducive to its national interests, using its economic prosperity over the previous decades to create more political and strategic space for itself, internationally. "So there is a huge desire to work together", Zhang said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

Liu Hualong, chairman of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp Ltd, said the country's top railway vehicle maker will deliver the first group of metro cars to Istanbul from its manufacturing facility in Turkey in the second half of this year.