Beijing sending top CPC leader to Kathmandu as ruling NCP stares at split

China is sending one of its top party leaders to Kathmandu as part of its last ditch effort to save the ruling Communist party from splitting. Nepal’s ruling party – Nepal Communist Party – is headed for a split following the move by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli to dissolve the House on Sunday.

Vice-minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Guo Yezhou, is visiting Nepal at a time when the intra-party feud of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has reached a climax.

The decision to dissolve the House has surprised the Chinese and they are also concerned about a series of visits from Bharat in the past two months, including one Standing Committee member who is aware of the Chinese position on Nepal, Nepal’s leading english language newspaper, Kathmandu Post, wrote in its online version on Saturday.

Protesting Oli’s move to dissolve the House and announcement of the snap polls in April/May, the ruling party has vertically split into two factions – one led by Oli and another by former prime ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Guo is arriving in Kathmandu on Sunday on a four-day visit when he is expected to meet top ruling party leaders, including President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Oli and Prachanda, among others, a senior ruling party leader told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Since then, Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi, who in the past has played crucial roles in saving the unity whenever the party has been in crisis, has been busy holding a series of meetings in Kathmandu. According to sources, the ambassador enquired how the party reached the stage of implosion and if there is still room for reuniting the leaders and the future course if the House is not restored and elections fail to take place, the newspaper wrote.

Yanqi had already informed about Guo’s Nepal visit during her meetings with the top leaders of the ruling NCP earlier this week. Yanqi also met President Bhandari, Prachanda and other ruling leaders and urged them not to split and sought to know whether the ruling party could be united again.

Yanqi had called on former Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara on Friday. Sources claimed that envoy Hou enquired with Mahara about the cause for the split in the ruling party and the possibility for reunification. Political observers note that China, like in the past, has been particularly concerned over the row within the ruling NCP, and the latest political developments in Nepal.

Chinese government’s move about the micromanagement of Nepali politics has drawn international attention towards Nepal of late, observers say. Observers in Nepal dub the ambassador’s moves as unusual while some have taken it as an apparent move as this is a mere continuation of such initiations that have taken place in the past.

Earlier, Chinese Vice Minister Guo had visited Nepal in 2018.


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