Kathmandu: Top Chinese legislator and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China Li Zhanshu is scheduled to visit Nepal from September 12 to 15, Nepal’s Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday.
Li is arriving at the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nepal Agni Prasad Sapkota.
Li, who is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s close ally, is the third-ranking member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the top decision making body of China, after President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang.
The visit is taking place just ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October that is likely to give another term extension to Chinese President Xi and general and provincial elections in Nepal on November 20.
The Chinese leadership has been encouraging the Nepali communist leaders, particularly the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), for forging an alliance for the elections.
Speaker Sapkota and Li will hold delegation-level bilateral talks on September 12, said the ministry, Sapkota will host a banquet in honour of Li and the members of his delegation in the same evening.
This will be the third highest visit from the north in the last one year after the formation of the Sher Bahadur Deuba’s government in Kathmandu.
In March, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is also the State Councilor of China, visited Kathmandu and discussed a wide range of bilateral issues with the top political leadership.
Then in July, Foreign Department Chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Liu Jianchao, arrived in Kathmandu and held talks with all major political stakeholders including communist party leaders.
In August, Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka visited Qingdao, China, and met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang and discussed a wide range of bilateral issues including recent friction between China and the US over the Taiwan Strait.
During his stay in Nepal, Li will pay courtesy calls on President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and will meet Chairperson of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Khadka, according to the ministry. Similarly, Li will also meet K P Sharma Oli, former Prime Minister and Chairman of CPN-UML, and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, former Prime Minister and Chairman of CPN-Maoist Centre on a wide range of bilateral issues, the ministry added.