Kathmandu: China is sending a four-member team led by a vice minister of the Chinese Communist Party to Kathmandu in what is believed to be its effort to assess the ground situation and prevent a split in the ruling the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), a media report said on Saturday. Nepal plunged into a political crisis after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House of Representatives and announced dates for mid-term elections at the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday, sparking protests from a section of the ruling party.
The ruling NCP has been virtually split between the factions led by Prime Minister Oli and executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda’, two years after it was formed with the merger between CPN-UML led by Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre led by Prachanda in May 2018. At least two NCP leaders confirmed that Guo Yezhou, vice-minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is arriving here on Sunday, the Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.
Dozens of student activists carrying placards with anti-China slogans had staged a demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy here to protest against Hou’s interference in Nepal’s internal affairs. China’s political profile in Nepal has been on the rise in the recent years with billions of dollars of investments under Beijing’s multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including the building of 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 Chinese Communist Party and Nepal Communist Party were regularly engaged in training programmes. In September last year, the NCP had even organised a symposium, inviting some leaders from the Chinese Communist Party 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, the paper added.