India, China and Nepal should step up "sound interaction for win-win outcomes", Beijing today said as it congratulated the new Nepalese government headed by K P Oli.
After winning the recent parliamentary elections, Oli, widely regarded as pro-China, had said he wants to deepen ties with China to explore more options and get more leverage in his dealings with India "in keeping with the times".
Oli had told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post that he wants to "update" relations with India "in keeping with the times" but at the same time he would revive the China-backed USD 2.5 billion hydropower project which was scrapped by the previous government citing irregularities.
Commenting on Oli's remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here that "China congratulates Oli on becoming the new Prime Minister of Nepal".
China is willing to work with the new government of Nepal to promote friendly cooperation between the two countries in all areas and achieve common development and thus making contribution to the regional stability and prosperity, he said.
About Oli's comments on his planned approach to ties with India and China, Geng said, "China, Nepal and India are each other's important neighbouring countries. The three parties should step up sound interaction for win win outcomes."
Expectations are high in China about Oli's government as he signed the Transit Treaty with Beijing during his first stint as prime minister in 2015 to end dependence on India for his landlocked country to revive the dam.
China has been investing heavily in Nepal blunting India's influence in the Himalayan country.
In his interview, Oli had said, "we have great connectivity with India and an open border. All that's fine and we'll increase connectivity even further, but we cannot forget that we have two neighbours. We don't want to depend on one country or have one option."
He also said that "political prejudice or pressure" from rival companies may have been instrumental in scrapping of the dam project. "But for us, hydropower is a main focus and come what may, we will revive the Budhi Gandaki project," he added.
Oli, 65, who had served as Nepal's prime minister from October 11, 2015 to August 3, 2016, was forced to resign following a political crisis in the Himalayan nation over the Madhesi issue. Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin had been demanding amendment of the new Constitution to address their concerns over representation in Parliament.
Before Oli's inauguration as the prime minister for the second time, External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had visited Nepal and met him and other Left leaders.