A high-level Chinese delegation arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday as part of intensified efforts by Beijing to patch up differences between the two warring factions of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
The four-member team led by Vice Minister of the International Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) Guo Yezhou held talks with President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Oli on Sunday.
A day after, the delegation on Monday spoke to NCP leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal to prevent the split of the party.
The political crisis:
Nepal plunged into crisis after Prime Minister Oli recommended dissolving the 275-member House, amidst a tussle for power with Prachanda. Acting on his recommendation, the President dissolved Parliament and announced the elections on April 30 and May 10.
This triggered protests by NCP leaders and Prime Minister Oli was removed from the post of the party's parliamentary leader and chair.
The delegation intends to encourage both factions of the NCP and seek some kind of common ground for party unity.
Nepal Communist Party was formed in 2018 after Oli-led CPN-UML and Prachanda-led NCP (Maoist Centre) merged into one party.
This is not the first time that China has intervened in Nepal’s affairs at a time of crisis. In May and July 2020, Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi had met the President, NCP leaders when Prime Minister Oli was facing mounting pressure to step down.
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.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to the development of China-Nepal bilateral relations.
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, according to reports.
During his two-day state visit - the first by a Chinese leader in 23 years- in October last year, President Xi Jinping said China will provide Nepalese Rs 56 billion assistance to Kathmandu over the next two years to help Nepal's development programmes and transform the landlocked nation into a land-linked country.
Meanwhile, a number of political party leaders have called out China's as interference in Nepal's internal political affairs.
Taking note of the recent political developments in Nepal, India said it was an internal matter of the neighbouring country.
"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," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in New Delhi.
Nepal enjoys a special significance in India's foreign policy due to its geographical, historical, cultural and economic linkages.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)
First Published: IST