Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi met on Thursday with the Executive Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, who claimed control of the ruling party after removing Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli from the post of chairman of parliament and the party’s chairman .
The meeting at Prachanda’s residence in Khumaltar, which lasted about 30 minutes, looked at the current political situation following the split in the NCP, My Republica newspaper reported, citing sources close to the executive chairman.
“The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Hou Yanqi, met with the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, this morning. They discussed the issues of bilateral concerns,” tweeted Bishnu Rijal, a leader of the Prachanda faction.
The Kathmandu Post quoted a member of the Prachanda Secretariat as saying, “The discussions must have centered on current political developments.”
Hou’s meeting with Prachanda takes place two days after she called President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday at his office in Sheetal Niwas.
Hou reportedly discussed the latest political developments following the president’s move to dissolve the House of Representatives and announce mid-term elections, My Republica reported.
This is not the first time that the Chinese ambassador has intervened in Nepal’s internal affairs during a time of crisis.
In May, Hou held separate meetings with President Bhandari, the Prime Minister and other senior NCP leaders, including Prachanda, as Oli faced increasing pressure to resign.
In July, she again met a number of top leaders, including the President, Prime Minister, Prachanda, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam, to rescue Oli, who is known for his pro-Beijing leanings.
A number of party leaders had described the series of meetings of the Chinese envoy with the leaders of the ruling party as interference in the internal political affairs of Nepal.
Dozens of student activists with posters with anti-China slogans held a demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu to protest against Hous interference in the internal affairs of Nepal.
China’s political profile in Nepal has grown in recent years with billions in investments under the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Beijing, including the establishment of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network.
In addition to investing, China’s ambassador to Nepal, Hou has made open efforts to get support for Oli.
Nepal plunged into political crisis on Sunday after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House of Representatives on the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli and announced dates for mid-term elections, sparking protests by a section of the ruling party and various opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress.