Chief of the Nepal Army General Purna Chandra Thapa is leaving on Sunday for China on a weeklong visit, but as of Friday, there was no confirmation from the Nepal Army about the agreements that he will be signing.
The signing of a protocol agreement on non-lethal assistance to Nepal Army to be provided by China’s People’s Liberation Army.
However, is expected.
A protocol agreement on Chinese assistance to Nepal Army was announced during the visit of Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Defence Ishowr Pokhrel to China in October 2018.
This is the second foreign visit of Thapa after he became the chief of the national defence force on September 9, 2018. Earlier, he paid an official visit to India in the second week of January.
In the southern neighbour, he was conferred the title of honorary chief of the Indian Army in line with the tradition of exchanging honorary titles between chiefs of the two armies. After returning from China, Thapa is preparing to pay an official visit to the United States of America.
Apart from meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Zuocheng, Thapa will also take a tour of several Chinese military installations, according to the Nepal Army. He is also scheduled to meet with Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe.
“As of Friday, there is no confirmation regarding any agreement related to signing of the protocol,” Brigadier General Bigyan Dev Pandey, spokesperson for the Nepal Army, told the RSS.
As per a memorandum of understanding signed between Minister Pokhrel & his Chinese counterpart Wei on military cooperation between the 2 countries, China is to provide an assistance of RMB 150 million to Nepal over a period of 5 years for the supply of humanitarian & disaster relief equipment.
During Thapa’s visit, the Chinese side will hand over some logistics related equipment like armoured personnel carriers for Nepali peacekeepers, engineering equipment, logistics related to disaster preparedness, spare parts, medical equipment & some vehicles.
The announcement was made during Pokhrel’s visit but protocols related to them, numbers & ways of delivering assistance were not agreed upon in October last year.