Kathmandu, Nepal: A leading Nepalese economist has said the Himalayan nation must be extremely cautious about accepting loans from China.

“The Chinese side is even insisting that some projects should be implemented based on China’s criteria,” Bishwambhar Pyakuryal, a Nepalese economist, told Khabarhub.

“A country like Nepal should be extremely cautious about accepting loans from China,” he said.

He made the comment at a time when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting Nepal.

Nepalese Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi held delegation-level talks on Saturday, after which they witnessed the signing and sharing of nine agreements and memoranda of understanding.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one of the agreements is on a technical assistance plan for the feasibility study of the cross-border railway with the help of China.

Another is on economic and technical cooperation. Under the economic and technical cooperation, China will increase its annual assistance to Nepal from Rs 13 billion to Rs 15 billion and finance some projects to be mutually agreed between the two sides, the Kathmandu Post reported.

Another deal is on cooperation in the China-Nepal Power Grid interconnection feasibility study where China will finance the new Ratamate-Rasuwagadhi-Kerung transmission line alignment. Similarly, both sides also signed a protocol on the safety and health conditions of exporting hay (stored fodder) from Nepal to China.

Another deal is to provide 98 percent duty-free treatment for Nepalese products in China. The Chinese side handed over the certificate of phase III of the Araniko highway maintenance project to Nepal.

Both parties also approved the minutes of the seventh meeting, held in January, on the enhancement of cooperation in the railway sector that took place in January 2022 in virtual mode.