Educational fair to boost relations between universities: DPM Shrestha


Kathmandu, June 18: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has said that the Chinese educational fair would help expand the relations between the universities of Nepal and China and improve the quality of education.     

Inaugurating the fair organised by the Chinese Embassy and the China Scholarship Council here today, DPM Shrestha shared that there are many examples of Nepali students who studied in China receiving scholarship and returning after achieving specialization on their subjects.     

He expressed the belief that many aspiring Nepali students would be benefitted in future after the fair.     

Mentioning that the educational fair has been working as a milestone to inform about higher education of China, the Foreign Minister shared that formal visit of former and present high officials of Nepal have played a significant role in expansion of educational, cultural and social relations between the two countries.     

Similarly, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, explained that around 2,500 Nepali students are now studying in China and number of Chinese experts, university students and international Chinese language education volunteers coming to study and teach Nepal is constantly increasing.     

Cultural exchange and educational support between the two countries has become the important foundation of Nepal-China relations, he said, adding it has made incomparable contribution in building close and friendly relations between Nepal-China communities.     

Likewise, Chairperson of Nepal-China Cultural and Educational Council, Harish Chandra Sah, expressed the belief that the educational fair would help make educational relations of the two countries smooth and friendly like at the people's level.     

He stressed that Nepali students would get opportunity to be benefitted from the fair as educational quality of China is of international standard.     

Deputy Secretary General of China Scholarship Council, Jhang Junior, shared that they have got the opportunity to inform Nepali students, parents, as well as other concerned people about the Chinese educational situation by organising such fair after a decade. (RSS)

Remarks by Honourable Mr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Opening Session of 2024 China Higher Education Exhibition (Kathmandu, 18th June, 2024)

Full text of DPM Shrestha's speech:

Distinguished Guests,

Representatives of different Chinese universities,

Friends from the Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, let me thank you for inviting me as the chief guest of this important program.

I congratulate the Embassy of the People's Republic of China and China Scholarship Council for hosting this event.

I believe this program will be a milestone in furthering our educational cooperation and people-to-people relations.

I hope this Exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for Nepali students to learn about higher education opportunities and prospects in China as well as for Chinese universities to interact and maintain good relations with Nepali students. This is also an opportunity to renew and further consolidate the friendly relations between our two peoples.

I wish for the success of this Exhibition.

Dear Friends,

The relations between Nepal and China are age-old, deep-rooted and multi-faceted.

Our two countries are connected not only by mountains and rivers but also by history and culture. People-to-people relations dates back to time immemorial.

These relations have evolved with active engagements of notable personalities that include Nepali monk and scholar Buddhabhadra in early 5th Century, Princess Bhrikuti in the first half of the 7th Century, and Araniko in the Second half of the 13th Century.

Likewise, early visits of Chinese monks and scholars such as Monk Fa Xian during the Jin Dynasty, Monk Xuan Zang during the Tang Dynasty, among others, have contributed to enhance the ties between our two sides.

Over the years, we have built strong relations based on mutual respect, trust, goodwill, and understanding. Our relations are founded on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, age-old legacy of friendship, close and good neighbourliness, mutual cooperation and understanding, appreciation of each other's sensitivities and trusted partnership.

Distinguished Guests,

Nepal attaches profound significance to its relations with China. We enjoy a problem-free state of relations. Both the countries understand each other's aspirations and sensitivities and extend support to each other in times of need in the spirit of true friendship.

Nepal firmly adheres to One China Principle. Our commitment in this respect is total and unwavering. We consider Tibet Autonomous Region and Taiwan as integral parts of China. We are firmly committed to not allowing any inimical activity against China in our soil.

Our cordial and friendly ties have widened and deepened through the exchange of high-level visits.

We witnessed highest level visits between our two countries in 2019. Rt. Hon. President Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari paid a state visit to the People's Republic of China in April/May 2019.

His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, paid a historic state visit to Nepal in October 2019, during which the bilateral relationship was elevated to a Strategic Partnership of Cooperation Featuring Ever-lasting Friendship for Development and Prosperity. It was a significant decision to qualitatively enhance the substance of our relationship to a new level.

Similarly, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' visited China in September 2023. During the visit, our two sides reached consensus on several agreements, projects, and matters of mutual cooperation.

Let me recall my own recent official visit to China from 24 March to 1 April 2024. On the occasion, I had meetings with a number of high-level Chines leaders, including His Excellency Mr. Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and His Excellency Mr. Wang Yi, Member of the Political Bureau of the Community Party of China Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs. During the meetings, we committed to work together to further elevate the bilateral ties.

Distinguished Guests,

Nepal-China relations have gained new momentum in recent times.

It is my pleasure to share with you that Nepal has recently decided to join the Group of Friends of Global Development Initiatives (GDI).

In the same vein, we are finalizing the text of the BRI Implementation Plan. Nepal is ready to sign it at a mutually convenient date.

We have jointly declared all 14 traditional border trading points open on 25 May 2024.

This reopening has not only further elevated our exemplary bilateral relations but also contributed to making the daily lives of the bordering peoples easier, enhance cross-border trade, and foster economic ties.

I take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Government of the People's Republic of China for waiving Chinese visa fee to Nepali citizens effective from the 1st of May 2024.

Dear Friends,

China remains a long-standing development partner of Nepal. We highly value the support and assistance from the Government and people of China in Nepal's development efforts. The Chinese financial and technical assistance to Nepal has greatly contributed to such areas as infrastructure building, connectivity, establishment of industries, human resource development, health, education, water resources, and sports, among others.

Education is one of the important areas of cooperation. China is supporting Nepal through scholarship programs, short-term and long-term training programs, language-focused initiatives, institutional collaborations, and so on. A large number of Nepali students are pursuing their higher education in China through these scholarships.

In the same way, China has been one of the prominent destinations for Nepali students. Today, we already have a significant number of professionals who have studied in China and are now excelling at their respective fields in Nepal. With increasing number of scholarship schemes and frequent and regular exhibitions like this, I am confident that this number will increase further, and Chinese university-graduates will be one of the key factors for Nepal's developmental roadmap ahead.

I am happy to know that there is collaboration between different universities of Nepal and China. A big number of Nepali students studying in Nepal visit China and fulfill their partial academic requirements. Likewise, many Chinese professors visit Nepal as faculties. These exchanges have been contributing to widening and deepening people-to-people relations and eventually strengthening bilateral ties.

I am also aware that every year, Chinese language volunteer teachers come to Nepal and contribute to strengthen educational partnership between our two countries. We are thankful to the Chinese government for such initiatives.

We want to learn from China's charismatic development. Education may be one of the areas where Nepal can reap the benefits of China's vast knowledge and technological advancement. As education shapes human capital, it is the key to sustainable development and prosperity. Today's emphasis on educational collaboration will bear fruits in the future.

Dear Friends,

To conclude, our two countries have vibrant and fruitful cooperation in the field of education. This cooperation is not confined to the government level. Non-government and private sectors are also equally active in educational cooperation and collaboration. I am confident that Nepal- China relations will be further strengthened with greater educational partnerships in the days to come.

Finally, I once again take this opportunity to wish the very success of this Exhibition.

Thank you! Xie! Xie!

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