China and Nepal strengthen co-op on think tanks

By Chen Boyuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 24, 2017
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More than 20 think tanks and other academic agencies from China and Nepal gathered in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal on Jan. 17 for the China-Nepal Think Tank Conference 2017, lasting for two days.

At the opening ceremony, former Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli referred to China as Nepal's "all-weather good friend;" as China never interferes with Nepal's internal affairs, wishes to help with Nepal's development and stands ready to stretch a helping hand whenever Nepal has troubles.

Oli recalled his latest trip to China last year when he was in office as saying that the China-led Belt and Road Initiative would be highly beneficial to Nepal, and that Nepal will make most of this initiative to develop its own economy.

Oli's comments on the Nepal-China relations was shared by Kamal Thapa, former vice prime minister and foreign minister of Nepal, who also stressed the importance of enhancing the connectivity between the two countries. Thapa added that only through better connections could Nepal accelerate its pace towards prosperity.

At the forum, Huang Youyi, member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body, and former vice president and editor-in-chief of China International Publishing Group (CIPG), delivered a keynote speech, representing the Charhar Institute.

In his speech entitled "International communications and the media coverage of Nepal in China," Huang said that Chinese media has a long tradition of being friendly to Nepal. Over the past years, the extensive and intensive coverage of Nepal on Chinese media has conveyed a friendly and positive message to the Chinese audience.

Huang mentioned that Chinese people in general have a good feeling about Nepal; that Nepalese people are amicable and peace-loving, and that the Nepalese natural scenery is beautiful beyond words. He added that foreign language media in China have also been using different languages to promote Nepal's national policy of peaceful development to international audiences.

Also in his speech, Huang compared the quantity, themes and general attitudes of the two countries’ media when reporting each other. In specific, among Nepalese media coverage of China, 21 percent of it reflected a positive attitude, 60 percent neutral and 12 percent negative, which was a "striking contrast" compared with how Chinese media report Nepal.

The reason, as Huang interpreted, was that Nepalese media has been quoting the negative reports of China from Western or non-China friendly neighbouring countries, which has led to the Nepalese people's misunderstanding of China. Hence, he urged China to be more proactive as to provide more English-composed information about itself, strengthen bilateral exchange of information and encourage journalists from both countries to visit each other.

Prof. Wang Yiwei of Renmin University of China (RUC) and senior researcher at the Charhar Institute shared his view on how non-governmental think tanks could contribute to the peace, stability and harmonious development of China and the world.

He told Nepalese delegates to the conference that the Charhar Institute now has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, South Korea and will soon set up a new office in Lhasa, which shall strengthen the agency's research capacity of Tibet-related diplomacy.

Wang's six-point interpretation of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as his proposal for the common revitalization of civilizations and the construction of a China-Nepal economic corridor was accepted with positivity by Nepalese think tanks.

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