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The BBC's Daniel Lak in Kathmandu
"This was a meeting to affirm existing good ties"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Nepal assurance over Tibetan exiles
Karmapa Lama
Nepal reportedly clamped down after Karmapa Lama fled
Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has told China that Tibetan refugees living in Nepal will not be allowed to conduct any anti-Chinese political activity.

Mr Koirala's comments came on the second day of a visit to Nepal by the Chinese Prime Minister, Zhu Rongji.

The Chinese premier arrived in Nepal on Monday after visiting Pakistan.

Nepal had previously said it would not allow Tibetans to carry out political activity - but Kathmandu appears keen to alleviate concerns in Beijing over the activities of various Tibetan refugee organisations.

'Repatriation'

In December, a London-based monitoring group on Tibetan affairs said that the Nepalese authorities were repatriating Tibetan refugees.

Zhu Rongji
Zhu Rongji: Discussing economic ties
The Tibet Information Network said the repatriations followed pressure from Beijing following the escape last year via Nepal of the Karmapa Lama, one of the highest-ranking Tibetan religious figures.

Nepal is a major transit route to India for Tibetans trying to leave.

Some 20,000 refugees have been living in Nepal since their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled Tibet after the Chinese take-over more than 40 years ago.

Trade ties

One of the aims of Mr Zhu's visit will be to boost trade and economic ties between the two countries.

China is a major aid donor to Nepal, which is one of the poorest nations in the region, and a number of infrastructure projects will be discussed.

The BBC's Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu says Nepal - sandwiched between India and China - has been keen to stress that no hostile activity against any of its neighbours will be allowed on its territory.

India recently voiced concern over what it alleges is the use of Nepalese territory by Pakistani intelligence - although this is denied by Islamabad and Kathmandu.

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See also:

11 May 01 | South Asia
China talks trade with Pakistan
12 May 01 | South Asia
China warned over India 'threat'
27 Apr 01 | South Asia
Boy Lama breaks his silence
03 Nov 00 | South Asia
Concern over Tibetans in Nepal
09 Jan 01 | Media reports
Indian press cool on China ties
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