(TibetanReview.net, Jan02’21) – While the much-publicized Chinese efforts to save the unity of the ruling Nepal Communist Party ended without success with the end of the three-day visit of a delegation led by Guo Yezhou, vice-minister of the international department of the Chinese communist party’s central committee, covert efforts are continuing, directed at maintaining the communists’ rule in Nepal.
Guo’s four-member team wrapped up its visit on Dec 30, unable to deliver on its primary objective of uniting the two rival factions of the Nepal Communist Party led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on one side and former prime ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Nepal on the other side.
Guo’s delegation returned home, leaving behind a three-member Chinese team that had entered Nepal by land even before Guo landed in the country by air. The team is continuing to reach out to prominent politicians in the Himalayan nation, reported the hindustantimes.com Jan 2, citing people familiar with the matter.
The report said China was pursuing three possible options, one of which could make its staunch supporter, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, very unhappy.
The first option was the Guo delegation’s efforts to persuade PM Oli to roll back the Dec 20 presidential order dissolving Nepal’s 275-member House of Representatives.
The delegation also explored the possibility of getting the two warring factions to jointly contest the national elections on Apr 30 and May 10 if the presidential order can’t be rescinded.
A third option believed to have been pursued by Guo Yezhou was designed to address the possibility of the Supreme Court rolling back the presidential order and involved the formation of a communist-led government with the support of opposition parties such as the Nepali Congress minus PM Oli, the report said.
The report said the team of three – Zekun Lai, Dongme Huang and Yonglin Zhong – were the Chinese communist party’s point-persons on Nepal politics who had cultivated political leaders for years.
“This is what you might call the backchannel effort that stays under the radar,” a diplomat based in Nepal was quoted as saying.
There have been protests against China’s perceived interference in Nepali internal political matters. But they were small.
While neighbor India has adopted a hands-off approach on the current situation in Nepal, the timesofindia.com Dec 2 cited its political and government sources as believing that the country should take the democratic route, which in this case would mean elections, to resolve the impasse.