A high-level Chinese delegation led by a vice minister of the Chinese Communist Party arrived in Kathmandu today to “take stock” of Nepal’s political situation after the dissolution of Parliament and subsequent split in the ruling Nepal Communist Party, according to a media report.
Although no specific details about the agenda of the visit are available, the four-member delegation, led by Vice Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Guo Yezhou, will hold high-level talks during its stay in Kathmandu, My Republica newspaper reported, citing senior NCP leaders.
Quoting a diplomatic source, it said the visit is aimed at “taking stock of Nepal’s evolving political situation after the dissolution of the House of Representatives and subsequent split in the ruling Nepal Communist Party amid already-deepened intra-party rift”.
Nepal plunged into a political crisis last Sunday after embattled Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, known for his pro-Beijing leanings, in a surprise move, recommended dissolving the 275-member House, amidst a tussle for power with former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”.
Acting on the prime minister’s recommendation, President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House the same day and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10, sparking protests from a large section of the NCP led by Prachanda, also a co-chair of the ruling party.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are tight-lipped about Guo’s visit, the report said. Earlier this week, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, had communicated about the visit of Guo to Kathmandu during her meetings with senior NCP leaders of both the Prachanda- and Oli-led factions.
Vice Minister Guo is scheduled to hold meetings with the leaders of both the factions.
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. Shortly after the dissolution of the House, the Chinese ambassador expedited her meetings with top political leadership in Nepal.
Hou Yanqi has already held meetings with President Bhandari, senior NCP leaders Prachanda and Madhav Kumar Nepal, former House speakers Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Barsha Man Pun, among others.
This is not the first time that China has intervened in Nepal’s internal affairs at a time of crisis.
In May, Ms 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.