KATHMANDU: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was due to arrive in Nepal Saturday for talks which mark the first visit for a decade by a leader of the world's second largest economy, the government in Kathmandu said.
The agenda for the visit has not been disclosed but analysts expect Wen and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to discuss investment from Beijing worth billions of dollars for wide-ranging infrastructure projects.
"We are scheduled to sign agreements on increasing Chinese assistance to Nepal. There will be discussion also on the peace and constitution making process of Nepal," Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun said.
Wen is also expected to seek support for Beijing's policies in the restive region of Tibet, which has seen a wave of self-immolations over the past year in protest at Chinese rule.
Nepal, home to 20,000 Tibetan exiles, is under pressure to stem the flow of Tibetans fleeing their homeland.
Hundreds of Tibetans make the difficult and dangerous journey to Nepal every year, fleeing political and religious repression in China, though their numbers have fallen sharply in the past few years.
Premier Zhu Rongji was the last Chinese leader to visit neighbouring Nepal, in 2001, although recent years have seen a flurry of visits by Chinese delegations.
Wen was due to fly to Qatar later on Saturday for the start of a six-day tour of the Gulf nations. AGENCIES