China's Envoy Meets Nepal Ruling Party Amid Power Struggle

Mr Hou met senior leaders and former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal within the past 48 hours as hectic negotiations for power sharing

China's Envoy Meets Nepal Ruling Party Amid Power Struggle

The political future of Mr Oli, known for his pro-Beijing leanings, will be decided on Wednesday (File)

Kathmandu:

Amidst mounting pressure on Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to step down, Chinese ambassador Hou Yanqi on Tuesday intensified consultations with leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party to save him.

Mr Hou met senior leaders and former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal within the past 48 hours as hectic negotiations for power sharing were going on between embattled Prime Minister Oli and dissident group led by ruling party's executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ''Prachanda.''

The political future of 68-year-old Oli, known for his pro-Beijing leanings, will be decided on Wednesday during the ruling party''s Standing Committee meeting.

During the 45-minute meeting with Mr Khanal on Tuesday, Mr Hou expressed concern over disputes that has surfaced within the ruling party and suggested to work toward resolving the differences.

On Sunday, the Chinese ambassador met with senior NCP leader and former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and discussed the current political situation. She also called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on the same day.

Both Madhav Nepal and Mr Khanal held discussion with the Chinese envoy regarding the latest political situation in the country, aides of the two leaders said, without giving any details.

A number of political party leaders have termed the Chinese envoy's series of meetings with the ruling party leaders as interference in Nepal's internal political affairs.

"Will the democratic republic operated through a remote control benefit Nepalese people?" former foreign minister and Rastriya Prajatantra Party chairman Kamala Thapa tweeted, in an apparent reference to the Chinese envoy''s meeting with the NCP leaders.

"We strongly refute all conspiracy theories that the internal political dynamics and phenomenon here in our country, even today, are dictated by this or that foreign forces," tweeted Narayankaji Shrestha, spokesperson of the CPN, shortly after the Chinese envoy met Madhav Nepal.

"Nepal, as a Sovereign Country, is able to decide itself. We object & reject any tendency to intervene in our affairs."

This is not the first time that the Chinese ambassador has intervened in Nepal's internal affairs at a time of crisis. One-and-a-half months ago, when the NCP's intra-party feud reached the climax, Mr Hou held separate meetings with President Bhandari, Prime Minister Oli and other senior leaders including NCP's executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'' and Madhav Nepal.