Beijing: China has proposed a trilateral economic corridor with India through Nepal and a railway line linking the three nations via Tibet besides undertaking of joint reconstruction of projects to rebuild quake-hit Nepal.
The India-Nepal-China Corridor is a major initiative to promote the connectivity in the region especially between China and India and help quake-hit Nepal, said Huang Xilian, Deputy Director General of the Asian Affairs departs of the Chinese foreign ministry.
The proposal mooted by China during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here in May was received positively by him, Huang told Indian correspondents here yesterday.
The proposal was discussed in the recent meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of an international conference on Nepal reconstruction in Kathmandu last month.
“The two Ministers had further discussion on this topic and reached consensus. We need to work together for the process of reconstruction of Nepal and we need to setup a joint study group to explore the feasibility of the Corridor,” said Huang, the Foreign Ministry's point man for India.
“We are ready to set up study group for economic corridor. If we can reach an agreement on feasibility we are ready to push forward it as it will bring benefit to the three countries,” he said.
He also spoke about China's interest to build railway line through the Himalayan passes of Tibet connecting Nepal and India. “The construction of this railway will help to materialise a dream. We need to have a feasibility study on it. We need to have consultations among the three. If India shows some interest we can respond positively,” he said.
While the recent earthquake in Nepal reminded about the vulnerabilities of the region a joint study can work out how to deal with it, Huang said.
China also dropped the much publicised plan to constructa high speed rail link through Mt. Everest, which Huang dismissed as imagination of a retired railway official.
Asked about the media reports about plans to build 540-km long high speed railway cutting through Mt Everest, Huang said an official who quoted in this regard is full of imagination.
“This guy is full of imagination. This is only a report and there is no government proposal on this,” he said
In April this year, Wang Mengshu, a rail expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, spoke about this proposal to state-run China Daily.
Huang said China is in discussions with India about the projects for reconstruction of Nepal to rebuild it after the devastating quake which flattened many parts of the country.
He said Chinese Foreign Minister during his meeting with Swaraj appreciated India's USD one billion assistance to Nepal. China has also announced USD 483 million assistance.
Besides USD 10 million cash, China will also provide either interest free loans or preferential loans.