KATHMANDU, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari hosted on Saturday evening a grand welcome banquet in the honor of her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
Extending the warmest welcome to Xi on behalf of the Nepali government and people, Bhandari noted that the visit fell upon the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and conveyed the Nepali people's warmest congratulations and most heartfelt wishes to the Chinese people.
The remarkable achievements China has made today were attributable to the vision of the Chinese leadership and the solidarity and endeavor of all the Chinese people, she said.
China, she added, will surely keep striding forward and achieve its "two centenary goals."
Nepal and China are neighbors, and their historical and cultural bonds have made the two countries close friends, she said.
Nepal and China have always trusted and respected each other, Bhandari said, adding that the Nepal-China friendship, as deep as the ocean and as high as the Himalayas, is unbreakable and will enjoy an even broader prospect in the future.
Xi, in his speech, noted that it is his first time to visit Kathmandu, where he has met a lot of old and new friends.
He said he was overwhelmed by joy and expectations to see Nepal enjoy political harmony and the Nepali people live a happy life.
Since the establishment of their diplomatic relations more than half a century ago, China and Nepal have been moving forward side by side and set an example of friendly exchanges between neighboring countries, he said.
Xi said Bhandari and he have jointly decided to upgrade bilateral ties to a strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity.
It is his expectation that China and Nepal foster closer political relations, build more accessible connectivity network, further consolidate public opinion foundations and carry out richer multilateral cooperation, Xi said.
Xi said he is very pleased that he and the Nepali leaders have reached consensus on these expectations and drawn a new blueprint for China-Nepal relations.
Noting that he often talked about implementing a blueprint thoroughly, he called for joint efforts to build a new future for China-Nepal relations.
He wishes Nepal prosperity and its people a happy life, as well as an ever-lasting friendship between China and Nepal.
The banquet, featuring traditional Nepali performances and Chinese songs, was attended by senior Nepali officials including Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana, Chairman of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, all cabinet members, major party leaders as well as lawmakers.