File Photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the first meeting of the French-Chinese business council in Beijing, China, January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

Chinese President Xi Jinping ‘expected’ to visit Nepal in October

Preparations have been initiated in the country after the news of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘possible’ visit to Nepal in October is being speculated.

According to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s press advisor Kundan Aryal, Chinese foreign minister and state counselor ‘is set to arrive in Kathmandu on Sunday after their Pakistan-Afghanistan-China trilateral meeting in Pakistan on Saturday.

According to the press-advisor, their visit could be to ‘prepare ground for Xi Jinping’s arrival’.

President Xi is expected to pay an official visit to the country on his way back from India after attending the 2nd informal summit between the top leaders of India and China, which is scheduled to take place in Tamil Nadu, on October 11-13.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs however has not confirmed the visit yet, and actually expressed surprise: “I have no idea about the visit,” said Bharat Raj Poudyal, spokesperson for the MOFA, when asked about the circular of Xi’s state visit to Nepal.

When a team of Nepali journalists paid visit to Beijing and inquired about the President’s plan to visit to Nepal, a senior official at Chinese Foreign Ministry, on 26 August , hinted that President Xi was likely to set on a visit to Nepal soon.

Similarly, Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari,on her state visit to China, had a talked with her counterpart on Xi’s visit to Nepal, said the official.

If materialized, this will be President Xi’s first visit to the country. He was scheduled to visit Nepal in 2016, however, was canceled.

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