Xi arrives in Nepal for state visit

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is greeted by Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari and her daughter Usha Kiran Bhandari upon his arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal, Oct. 12, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday for the first state visit to Nepal by a Chinese head of state in 23 years.

Upon arrival at the airport, Xi conveyed Chinese people's greetings and wishes to the Nepali people.

China and Nepal are linked by mountains and rivers and enjoy ever-lasting friendship, he said.

Since the establishment of their diplomatic relations 64 years ago, China and Nepal have abided by the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, carried forward their traditional friendship and set an example of mutual respect and equality between countries of different sizes and systems, said Xi.

Xi said he is looking forward to holding meetings with Nepali leaders on friendship and cooperation, adding that he expects to upgrade China-Nepal relations, enhance connectivity between the two countries and deliver more benefits to the two peoples through his visit.

Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari held a welcome ceremony at the airport, with her daughter Usha Kiran Bhandari presenting flowers to Xi. Nepali Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, Chairman of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina and cabinet members also attended the ceremony.

The ceremony featured a 21-gun salute and a performance of local songs and dances. Nepali boys and girls cheered in Chinese that "Hello, Grandpa Xi! Very happy to meet you! We love you."

As the Chinese president's motorcade departed from the airport to the city area, portraits of Xi and Bhandari, as well as welcome banners were hung on both sides of the streets, where tens of thousands of Nepalis waved the two countries' national flags and beat drums to welcome their guests.

Xi flew to Kathmandu after concluding an informal meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai, capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

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