KATHMANDU, June 25 (Xinhua) -- China said on Thursday that it would offer 3 billion Chinese yuan (483 million U.S. dollars) to help quake-stricken Nepal in rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the announcement as part of a package of aid plans to Nepal at an international conference on Nepal's reconstruction.
He said that from 2016 to 2018, a total of 3 billion yuan will be given to Nepal for infrastructure construction, rehabilitation of quake victims in mountain areas, restoration of cultural heritage sites, capacity building in disaster prevention, coping and response, and medical and sanitation institution buildings.
China is immediately sending 10 million U.S. dollars for rehabilitation of quake victims, he said.
China will also provide interest-free loans, low-interest loans, and funding programs from its Silk Route Fund to Nepal, while encouraging its enterprises and non-government organizations to invest in Nepal's reconstruction projects, said the minister.
Wang said China will also help Nepal transform and upgrade its economic and social entities, and draft a new roadmap to develop its existing enterprises for sustainable development.
China will invite 1,500 Nepalese youths to China for professional training in programs for post-quake reconstruction as well as for disaster prevention and reduction. Over 100 young Nepalese will go to China for recreational and training programs this year, he said.
The Tibetan Autonomous Region, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces will be tasked to carry out cooperation with Nepal in reconstruction, and disaster prevention and reduction among others, said the minister.
"The April 25 quake let the people of China and Nepal deeply understand what is the common community of fate. We would like to tell Nepal and the international community that China will continue to stand with Nepal in its post disaster reconstruction," Wang said.
Describing Nepal as a country with very close ties with China and an privileged partner in bilateral and international affairs, the minister believed the Nepalese government and the international community would welcome China's efforts to help Nepal through the aid package.
He said China will firmly stick to the principle of "Nepal first, Nepal decides" in providing support to the country's reconstruction, while cooperating with all countries and the international community in this regard.
"We hope to play an important and active role in Nepal's reconstruction through this involvement. We would like to see this beautiful Himalayan country to rise again like a phoenix with the help of the international community," he said.
Representatives from over 50 countries and international organizations attended the conference called by the Nepalese government.