Nepal and China have been enjoying a longstanding history of cordial, deep-rooted and multi-faceted cooperative relations based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations on August 1, 1955. China is our friendly neighbor and trusted development partner. The history of people-to-people ties, cultural exchanges and civilizational exchanges between Nepal and China dates back thousands of years.
The friendship between Nepal and China has been further elevated by high-level visits from both sides. The state visit of the Rt. Hon. President Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari to China in April 2019 and H.E. President Xi Jinping's state visit to Nepal in October 2019 have upgraded our bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership of Co-operation Featuring Everlasting Friendship for Development and Prosperity. The year 2022 has been remarkable in further strengthening bilateral ties and cooperation. The frequent exchange of high-level visits from both Nepal and China has further consolidated mutual trust and understanding. The leaders have reached a consensus on important matters of mutual interest and benefits.
Apart from being a good neighbor and close friend, China is also a major development partner for Nepal and has made huge contributions to the socio-economic development of Nepal. China is the second largest trade partner of Nepal. Both countries are working closely to find ways to further enhance trade and business for mutual benefit. At present both Nepal and China are working together for the implementation of the Multidimensional Trans-Himalayan Connectivity Network under the Belt and Road Initiative. We are hopeful that railway connectivity will connect the people and trade of both countries at a faster pace.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of China has provided vaccines, medical equipment and vital supplies to help Nepal fight against the pandemic, for which we are deeply grateful. We also appreciate the assurance and commitment of the government of China for the continuation of such support in the days ahead. At the same time, we hope that China will encourage Chinese investors to invest in various areas such as energy, hydropower, agriculture, physical infrastructure, fertilizer making, and medical support, among others. Both Nepal and China will move ahead for win-win cooperation in the days to come.