Why is China connecting Pokhara Airport with BRI?

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Although Nepal has signed an agreement to build Pokhara International Airport without signing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreement with China, China has started to forcibly connect Pokhara Airport with the BRI project.

In 2014, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAN) entered into an agreement with the Chinese company CAMC Engineering to build the Pokhara International Airport after China's Exim Bank was ready to provide loans at low interest rates.

Although China's BRI project started in 2017, it has been criticized because China is going to connect the old project with BRI. Sanjiv Gautam, the former director general of CAN, said that the construction of Pokhara airport started even before Nepal signed the BRI project.

"The construction of the airport was started with the soft loan of China's Exim Bank without Nepal signing the BRI," said Gautam, "only after the construction of the airport proceeded with the loan, an agreement was reached on the BRI project." He expressed his surprise that the Chinese officials have connected with the BRI project.

"Pokhara Airport has no sign of BRI," he said.

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