(TibetanReview.net, Dec27’20) – Alarmed by the fact that the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) which it had worked to bring together by amalgamating the then two communist parties in the country, which then went on to win the 2018 general election by a landslide majority, was falling apart, China is sending a high level delegation to Kathmandu restore the factional unity.
China considers Nepal to have a vital role for maintaining stability in Tibet and also for the President Xi Jinping-initiated Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects.
The delegation led by Guo Yechau, vice minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, was to land in Kathmandu on Dec 27 and spend the next four days in the country.
Reports from Kathmandu say the Chinese are offering large amounts of money to Nepali politicians to patch up, noted the timeosfindia.com Dec 27.
The political crisis was brewing for months but was precipitated by Prime Minister KP Oli’s constitutionally questionable step on Dec 20 to dissolve the parliament. It was approved by President Bidya Bhandari with the announcement of election dates on Apr 30 and May 10 next year.
Hectic parleys by Chinese ambassador Hou Yanqi with a series of meetings with the leaders of the two factions and the president came to a naught reportedly after Oli learnt that China was ready to dump him as Prime Minister for the sake of keeping the party in unity and power.
Oli told the country in a televised address after dissolving parliament that his rivals within the party hadn’t been letting him function and had planned to move a vote of no-confidence against him.
While Hou has continued her meetings with the rival factional leaders, Oli was said to be playing hard to get after he made it clear to her that he was open to go to the extent of splitting the party to prevent his rival faction led by former Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ from taking the prime ministership from him.
In fact, Oli had already conveyed to Ambassador Hou that China should not interfere in internal affairs of Nepal since the legal challenge to the decision to dissolve Parliament was already before the Supreme Court, according to the timeofindia.com Dec 26.
Nepali media has reported that a Chinese delegation will speak to all the political factions and leaders in Nepal’s ruling party to help them bridge their differences. However, it was not clear whether this will include Oli, given his known position on the issue of Chinese interference.
Oli and Prachanda have been co-chairs of the NCP formed in 2018 by the merger of PM Oli’s Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) and Prachanda’s Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre.
The factional crises came into the open after Oli refused to respect an understanding that the leaders of the two factions should share the prime Ministership half term each. The Prachanda faction brought up issues of corruption, nepotism, and authoritarianism against Oli and moved to remove him.
However, China, being determined to prevent a split in the ruling communist party, intervened more than once this year to engineer a patch-up between the two sides.
Diplomats in Kathmandu who have been tracking the political developments were cited as saying the Chinese team was expected to focus on leaders in both the factions who are in favour of the NCP staying united irrespective of the changes that might be required to achieve this objective.