To take forward training cooperation as visiting Army Chief Gaurav Shumsher Rana pledges crackdown on ‘anti-China’ activities

China and Nepal have agreed to widen their recently deepening defence and security ties and take forward training cooperation between their militaries as the Nepal Army Chief held talks with top People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Generals here this week.

General Gaurav Shumsher Rana pledged Nepal’s support to China in strong terms on cracking down on any “anti-China activities” on Nepali soil – a reference to the activities of Tibetans based in Nepal.

He said Nepal “attaches great importance” to developing its military ties with China and would “unswervingly adhere to the one-China policy and will never allow any force to take advantage of the Nepalese territory to engage in anti-China activities”, the official Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying. The Nepal Army, he added, saw “the Chinese military as a reliable friend”.

His pledge to back China on the Tibet issue comes as the PLA has stepped up both financial aid and training assistance to the Nepal Army. In 2011, China agreed to provide $7.7 million in military aid when the then Chief of General Staff, General Chen Bingde, visited Nepal.

The PLA has, this week, agreed to help set up two mobile hospitals for the Nepal Army, according to media reports in Nepal.

On Monday, the Nepal Army chief held talks with General Fang Fenghui, General Chen’s successor as the Chief of General Staff, who is responsible for army operations and also sits on the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC) headed by President Xi Jinping.

General Fang said China appreciated Nepal’s “consistent adherence to the One-China policy and firm support on the major issues concerning Tibet”. He said the PLA was keen “to make joint efforts” to deepen exchanges and cooperation, including on personnel exchanges and training, to push forward ties “under the new situation”.

The PLA has, this past week, laid out the red carpet for the Nepal Army chief, who also met the influential General and former Air Force Commander Xu Qiliang, who is one of the two Vice Chairmen of the Central Military Commission.

The CMC Vice Chairman said it was “in the interests of both sides” to cement and deepen their military relationship, Xinhua reported.

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