Nepal rolled out the red carpet on Saturday for China’s President Xi Jinping as authorities rounded up Tibetans to prevent protests during his stay.
Mr. Xi is making the first state visit by a Chinese leader to Nepal in 23 years following his two days of talks in India.
Mr. Xi is expected to push Beijing’s controversial Belt and Road infrastructure (BRI) initiative.
Mr. Xi said said he would use the two-day visit to “renew friendship and explore cooperation with my Nepali friends”. “It is important that we adopt a strategic and long-term perspective and draw up a blueprint for our bilateral relationship to take it to a new height in this new era,” Mr. Xi added.
The International Campaign for Tibet said at least 18 people were arrested ahead of Mr. Xi’s arrival.
Nepal is seeking closer ties and much-needed energy and infrastructure investment from its giant neighbour.
“This visit has historic significance for Nepal. Our priority is to create opportunities for Nepal, joining it to China’s development. We are focusing on connectivity between the two countries,” said Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali.