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Nepali Official Calls for Youth Exchange Program with China

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A Nepali minister on Friday called for a Nepal-China youth exchange program to increase communications and understanding between the youth of the two nations.

"To improve the people to people relation, programs relevant to sports and youth-exchange could play a significant role, and I would like to ask the Chinese government to think about it," Gopal Shakya, the minister for youth and sports, said at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the democratic reform in China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Nepali people have heard and seen different perspectives regarding Tibet, and "we want our youths to see the developments of Tibet by their own eyes," Shakya said.

He said the experience would help Nepali youths learn about political, economic and social developments in China.

"We have experienced political change in our country but have not yet achieved social and economic changes, in this sense we should still learn from China," he said.

At the same event organized by the Nepal-China Friendship Youths Association (NCFYA), Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Qiu Guohong outlined Tibet's development during the past 50 years.

Qiu appreciated Nepal's one-China policy and its continuous support to China on the Tibet issue, saying Nepal is a "good friend of China."

"I expect that you will introduce more facts about Tibet to the Nepali people and make efforts to deepen the friendship between peoples of China and Nepal," he said.

Nepali youth leaders called for strengthened exchanges between Nepali and Chinese youths.

"Nepal and China have lots of cultural, religious and geographical similarities, and we want to learn more from that," Prakash Babu Paudel, president of the NCFYA, told Xinhua.

(Xinhua News Agency March 28, 2009)

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