Chinese ambassador meets Prachanda amid political crisis in Nepal

Amid the political instability in Nepal, Chinese ambassador Hou Yanqi met Pushpa Kamal Dahal’ Prachanda,’ Nepal Communist Party’s executive chairman. Prachanda claims control over the ruling party after removing Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli from the Post.

According to the sources, the meeting lasted between the two for half an hour, and they discussed the exciting political situation in Nepal. The meeting was held at Prachanda’s residence in Khulmaltar.

“Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Hou Yanqi met Chairman of the Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ this morning. They discussed the issues of bilateral concerns,” Bishnu Rijal, a leader close to the Prachanda, tweeted.

It is noted that the Chinese ambassador Hou’s meeting with Prachanda comes two days after she called on Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday. Hou met the Bidya Devi Bhandari at the latter’s office in Sheetal Niwas.

The report says that Hou is regularly meeting with the Nepalese leaders following the president’s move to dissolve the House of Representatives and announcing mid-term elections. She is discussing the political development with the leaders.

Interestingly, the Chinese ambassador has been intervening in Nepal’s internal affairs at the time of crisis. This is not to be called the first time that the Chinese ambassador is involved in that.

Earlier in May, Oli was facing mounting pressure to step down. The Chinese ambassador held separate meetings with the Nepali President, the prime minister, and other senior NCP leaders, including Prachanda.

In July, Hou again met several top leaders and discussed the existing political situation. She met with president Bhandari, prime minister Prachanda, Madhav Kumar Nepal, and Jhala Nath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam to save Oli, who is known for his pro-Beijing stands.

For her intervention in Nepal’s internal affairs, political party leaders had termed t as interference in Nepal’s internal political affairs.

To be noted that Chinese interference in Nepal’s internal affair has been criticized by the Nepalese leaders and people too. once dozens of student activists carrying placards with anti-China slogans had staged a demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy in Nepal to protest against Hou’s interference in Nepal’s internal affairs.

China’s interference in Nepal’s internal affairs has been growing over recent years. The Dragon country has invested billions of dollars under Beijing’s ambitious multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Apart from the BRI, China is building the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network with Nepal.

The USD 2.75 billion trans-Himalayan projects under the controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is considered one of the most ambitious infrastructure plans ever undertaken by the Chinese government abroad.

China’s ambassador to Nepal Hou has been seen making open efforts to garner support for Oli as he inclines China.

On Sunday, Nepal became politically unstable after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House of Representatives and announced dates for mid-term elections at Prime Minister Oli’s recommendation. It led to protests from a section of the ruling party and various opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress.

The dissolution of the House of Representatives by the president came after the intra-party feud reached the top of the ruling party. The ruling party has two factions, and they both were witnessing the months-long power tussle. 68-year-old K P Sharma Oli leads one faction, and another led by 66-year-old Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.

Following the house’s dissolution, the Supreme Court forwarded all writ petitions challenging Prime Minister Oli’s move to dissolve the Parliament to a Constitutional bench abruptly.

The ‘Prachanda’-led faction of the ruling party elected him as the new parliamentary leader, replacing Prime Minister Oli.

On Tuesday, Oli was removed from the post of the party’s chairman by a central committee. The committee also sought to take action against Oli for dissolving the House of Representatives unconstitutionally.

Notably, the ruling party, Nepal Communist Party, has now been virtually divided after more than two years. It was formed following the merger of CPN-UML led by Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre led by Prachanda in May 2018.

Now, both factions of the party are trying their best to protect official party recognition along with the election symbol.