15 Jan 2012

More backing promised by China

11:51 am on 15 January 2012

Premier Wen Jiabao of China has agreed to increase economic aid and support the peace process in Nepal.

In the first visit by a Chinese premier in more than a decade, Mr Wen and his counterpart oversaw the signing of several funding agreements for infrastructure projects to help rebuild the nation.

One deal was a loan of 750 million yuan ($US120 million) to be paid over three years.

Officials said China also pledged to increase its annual economic development aid to Nepal to about 200 million yuan ($US32 million) from the current level of 150 million yuan. It will also provide a one-time special grant of $20 million.

A civil war in Nepal ended in 2006 after a decade.

Mr Wen was scheduled to visit Nepal in December, but the tour was postponed at the last minute. He is now flying to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.