On Sunday, a high-level Chinese delegation led by the Deputy Minister of the Communist Party of China arrived in Kathmandu to “take stock” of Nepal’s political situation after the dissolution of the Parliament and the subsequent split in the ruling Communist Party of Nepal.
Although no clear details on the agenda of the visit are available, the four-member delegation, led by Guo Yezhou, Vice-Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC), will hold high-level talks during its four-day stay in the country, according to high-level sources.
Guo is expected to meet with President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Madhav Kumar Nepal, who succeeded Oli as chairman of the Prachanda party, sources said.
The Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are tight-lipped about Guo’s visit.
His visit is aimed at “taking stock of the evolving political situation in Nepal after the dissolution of the House of Representatives and the subsequent split in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in the midst of the already deepened intra-party rift,” My Republica newspaper published.
China is not pleased with the split in Nepal’s largest communist party, according to reports.
Guo, who knows all senior NCP leaders personally, will make efforts to bridge the divide between the two warring factions of the ruling party – one led by Oli and the other led by Prachanda – during his four-day stay in Nepal, according to the Kathmandu Post.
Earlier, Gou travelled to Kathmandu in February 2018, when Oli-led CPN-UML and Prachanda-led NCP (Maoist Center)-were all set to merge and form a single communist party following the victory of their alliance in the 2017 general election. Later in May 2018, the two Communist parties merged and created a new party called the Communist Party of Nepal, according to the article.
Gou will evaluate the situation within the ruling party and urge both factions of the NCP to pursue some kind of common ground for party unity, the Post said, citing party leaders. The message from the Chinese government, including that of President Xi Jinping, will be transmitted to the leadership of the NCP, said the ruling party leader.
“Besides this, the Chinese side has not given us any information about the visit,” the leader told the Post on condition of anonymity.
China has deliberately selected and sent Gou at a time when unity within our Party is shaken, a member of the Standing Committee said.
Nepal plunged into a political crisis last Sunday, after Prime Minister Oli, known for his pro-Beijing leanings, in a shocking move, recommended the dissolution of the 275-member Assembly, in the midst of a power struggle with Prachanda.
Beijing appears concerned over the move of Oli to dissolve the House of Representatives and the evolving political situation that saw a vertical split in the NCP.
This is not the first time that China has intervened in Nepal’s internal affairs.
In May and July, Hou held separate meetings with the president, the prime minister and other senior NCP leaders, including Prachanda, when Oli was facing mounting pressure to step down.
A number of political party leaders had termed the Chinese envoy’s series of meetings with the ruling party leaders as interference in Nepal’s internal political affairs.
China’s political profile in Nepal has been on the rise in the recent years with billions of dollars of investments under its multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, including the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network.
Besides the investments, China’s ambassador to Nepal Hou has made open efforts to garner support for Oli.
The CPC and NCP were regularly engaged in training programmes. In September last year, the NCP had even organised a symposium, inviting some CPC leaders to Kathmandu to impart training to Nepali leaders on the Xi Jinping thought ahead of the visit of the Chinese president, his first to Nepal, according to a Kathmandu Post report.
In a guarded reaction to the fast-paced political developments in Nepal, India on Thursday said it was an “internal matter” of the neighbouring nation and it was for the country to decide as per its democratic processes.
“We have noted the recent political developments in Nepal. These are internal matters for Nepal to decide as per its democratic processes,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in New Delhi.
“As a neighbour and well-wisher, India will continue to support Nepal and its people in moving forward on the path of peace, prosperity and development,” he said.
(Inputs from PTI)

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