The Chinese government has called on political parties in Nepal to ensure political stability “at an early date” even as China’s top security official arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday on a visit aimed at strengthening economic and security ties.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, issued in response to Sunday’s resignation of Nepali Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal, that China hoped Nepal’s political parties “will seek consensus through dialogue” to ensure early political stability and economic development.

On Tuesday, Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Communist Party of China’s powerful nine-member Politburo Standing Committee and the country’s top security official, arrived in Kathmandu on a three-day visit, part of a five-nation tour aimed at strengthening party-to-party ties.

High on his agenda, analysts said, is boosting security cooperation along the Nepal-Tibet border and ensuring that the Nepali government continues to clamp down on anti-China activities of Tibetans within its borders.

Mr. Zhou said in a statement ahead of his arrival in Kathmandu that his visit was aimed at boosting inter-party relations, as well as addressing “mutual concerns”.

He is expected to meet with Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav and leaders of political parties, including Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ as well as officials of the Nepali Congress.

While Nepal’s importance to stability in neighbouring Tibet has underpinned China’s relations with the country, the two countries have also substantially boosted economic ties in recent years.

In March, the two countries signed a number of deals for financial assistance and infrastructure projects, including RMB 640 million ($ 98.5 million) loan assistance from the Export-Import Bank of China for the 60 MW Upper Trisuli hydropower project. That same month, Chen Bingde, chief of general staff of the People’s

Liberation Army, announced $ 19 million in military assistance on a visit to Kathmandu.

And, last month, a Chinese foundation unveiled a $ 3 billion plan to develop infrastructure projects and transform the Nepali town of Lumbini, the Buddha’s birthplace, into a sprawling tourism centre.

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