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Chinese Defence Minister to visit Nepal ahead of Gen Rawat

Press Trust of India  |  Kathmandu 

China's Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan will this week visit Nepal, where he will discuss bilateral military cooperation and the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, an ambitious project viewed with suspicion by

Gen Chang, who leads the 2.3-million-strong People's Liberation Army (PLA), the world's largest, will reach Kathmandu on March 23 from Sri Lanka, leading a 19-member delegation.


He will discuss the OBOR initiative, the Maritime Silk Road, and military cooperation with Nepal, sources at the Defence Ministry here said.

The visit comes ahead of the chief Gen Bipin Rawat's four-day official visit to from March 28.

Gen Rawat's proposed trip has been described as a "regular visit" by the Army spokesperson and the army chiefs of and exchange their honorary titles to mark the special ties.

Gen Rawat will meet President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Prachanda, Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand and his Nepali counterpart Gen Rajendra Chhetri during his stay in the landlocked country, where and vie for influence.

has some concerns over the OBOR, which includes a maze of projects connecting with Euro-Asia and is floated by Beijing as a connectivity and economic project.

The Chinese defence minister's three-day visit to coincides with the first joint military exercise between the Army and the PLA scheduled later this year. Gen Chang will receive a briefing on the joint exercise and also visit Army's Kathmandu Valley unit.

The delegation accompanying him will discuss the ideas floated last year by then Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli during his visit to A possible support to Army from is also on the cards for discussion.

Gen Chang is visiting at the invitation of Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand extended during his trip to in October, Defence Secretary Shreedhar Sapkota said.

The Chinese delegation will also meet the Nepalese president, the prime minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 20 2017. 20:02 IST
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