Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi met on Thursday with the President of the Communist Party of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda,’ who claims power over the ruling party after dismissing Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli from the leadership and chair of the party.
The meeting at Prachanda’s residence in Khumaltar – which lasted about 30 minutes – focused on the contemporary political situation following the NCP’s split, My Republica newspaper reported, citing sources close to the Executive Chairman.
“Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Hou Yanqi met Chairman of the Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ this morning. They discussed the issues of bilateral concerns,” Bishnu Rijal, a leader close to the Prachanda-faction tweeted.
The Kathmandu Post quoted a member of the Prachanda’s secretariat as saying that “discussions must have revolved around contemporary political developments.” Hou’s meeting with Prachanda comes two days after she called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday at the latter’s office in Sheetal Niwas.
Hou is said to have addressed the latest political developments following the President’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and declare mid-term elections, My Republica said.
This is not the first time that the Chinese ambassador has interfered in the internal affairs of Nepal at a time of crisis.
In May, Hou held separate meetings with President Bhandari, the Prime Minister and other senior NCP leaders, including Prachanda, when Oli was under – pressure to step down.
In July, she met again with a host of top leaders, including President, Prime Minister Prachanda, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam, who are known for their pro-Beijing leanings.
A number of political party leaders have characterised the Chinese envoy’s series of meetings with ruling party leaders as interference in Nepal’s internal political affairs.
Dozens of student activists wearing anti-China banners organised a demonstration here in front of the Chinese Embassy to protest Hou’s intervention in the internal affairs of Nepal.
China’s political profile in Nepal has increased in recent years with billions of dollars of investment under the Beijing Multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including the development of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Communication Network.
In addition to investments, China’s ambassador to Nepal Hou has made an open attempt to gather support for Oli.
Nepal plunged into a political crisis on Sunday after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House of Representatives and declared mid-term elections on the advice of Prime Minister Oli, sparking protests from the ruling party and various opposition groups, including the Nepalese Congress.
The move came after the intra-party feud reached its peak in the ruling party, which witnessed months-long power struggles between two factions, one led by 68-year-old Oli and the other led by 66-year-old Prachanda.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court submitted all written petitions opposing Prime Minister Oli’s decision to abruptly dissolve Parliament to the Constitutional Court.
‘Prachanda’ – the ruling party group elected him as the new parliamentary leader, replacing Prime Minister Oli.
Oli was suspended from the position of party chairman on Tuesday by a central committee meeting of the Prachanda-led faction, which also agreed to take disciplinary action against him for the “unconstitutional” dissolution of the House of Representatives.
The ruling party has now been effectively split more than two years after it was founded following the merger of CPN-UML led by Oli and CPN-Maoist Center led by Prachanda in May 2018.
Both factions of the party have intensified efforts to retain official party recognition along with the election symbol. The two factions are now busy making strategies to wrest control of the party.

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