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China prez may visit Nepal later this year

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HONG KONG, March 8: Sources in Beijing have hinted that Chinese President Xi Jinping may visit Nepal during his India visit to attend the upcoming BRICS summit.

They have said that Chinese President Xi Jinping has shown interest to visit Nepal on route to New Delhi for the summit that is being convened in the Indian capital after six months.

Since February, India is the chair of BRICS, an association of economically emerging five countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. And it is all set to host the BRICS summit in between September-October. Along with Chinese President Xi Jinping, heads of state from the remaining four countries will also be attending the summit.

Sources in Beijing said that the Chinese President is likely to visit Nepal and Bangladesh during his visit to India and preparations are being made on the same basis,” said a source close to the Chinese foreign ministry.

Since 1996, no Chinese president has visited Nepal.

China has hinted about possible Chinese presidential visit by inviting Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to visit China anytime soon.

Two and a half months ago, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa had visited China.

Asia Pacific Daily, a newspaper published by Chinese news agency Xinuha in Kathmandu, has also stated that Chinese President Xi Jinping may visit Nepal after Nepali Prime Minister Oli’s visit to China.