Kathmandu    -      Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong and U.S. criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups.

“Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” he told Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in a meeting on Sunday, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.

“And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!” he was quoted as saying.

Xi, the first Chinese president to visit Nepal in 22 years, arrived in Nepal on Saturday on a state visit. Both sides are expected to sign a deal expanding a railway link between the Himalayan nation and Tibet.

Nepal’s Oli told Xi that the country will oppose any “anti-China activities” on its soil, CCTV reported.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that China will provide Nepalese Rupeess 56 billion assistance to Kathmandu over the next two years to help Nepal’s development programmes as the two countries inked 20 agreements on Sunday to bolster their bilateral ties.

Xi, who arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday after a two-day informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held talks with his Nepalese counterpart Bidya Devi Bhandari on Saturday on the first day of his two-day state visit - the first by a Chinese leader in 23 years.

On Sunday, the Chinese president met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and held delegation-level talks. After the talks, the two sides signed 18 MoUs and two letters of exchange in different sectors such as transport, agriculture, industry, commerce and supply.

“The meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Oli focused on all aspects of Nepal-China relations,” local media quoted officials as saying.

During his meeting with Bhandari, President Xi announced the support of 3.5 billion Remnibi equivalent to Nepalese Rupees 56 billion to Nepal over the next two years to help the development programmes, officials said.

Xi also pledged to upgrade the Arniko Highway linking Kathmandu with Tatopani transit point - which was shut down following the devastating earthquake of 2015 - and open more customs points facilitating connectivity.

He said a feasibility study of the trans-Himalayan railway will soon start and China will also support the construction of the Kerung-Kathmandu tunnel road. “We have model friendship in the world, and there is no issue between the two countries,” Xi said during a state banquet hosted by President Bhandari on Saturday in his honour.