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Chinese Ambassador’s Mysterious Activism in Kathmandu Baffles Many

NCP Leaders Have Two Days Left For Political Maneuvering
(The Chinese envoy in Nepal Hou Yanqi. Photo: Twitter)

By Jyoti Dhakal, KATHMANDU:- As the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is rife with the heated arguments and mud-slinging among its top party leaders, China’s Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi’s activism has mysteriously spiked up in the Nepalese capital, that includes but not limited to her visits to various NCP leaders, including party senior Madhav Kumar Nepal.

On Sunday, July 5, 2020, Ambassador Yanqi called on NCP leader Nepal at the latter’s residence in Koteshwor, Kathmandu. Many believe that the visit was focused on the current political imbroglio of the ruling NCP, which considers itself close to the Chinese Communist Party, as both of these parties perceive that they belong to the same communist fraternity.

Some analysts falsely speculated that Ambassador Yanqi suggested leader Nepal to continue supporting the government of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and stop groupism against him by forming an alliance with party co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, Jhalanath Khanal and Bhim Rawal, among other party leaders.

In reality, however, it is learned that Yanqi-Nepal meeting was focused on the prospects of a new political development, ways of ousting the incumbent government and thereby, form a brand new pro-Chinese government.

“It is no more a secret that China is against the US-Nepal development project of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). As PM Oli supports the MCC and wants to implement it after endorsing it through the parliament, China has been obviously standing against the incumbency,” said a highly-placed source, who did not want to be named.

In a bid to check India and China’s growing clouts in Nepal, PM Oli decided to implement the US MCC project in Nepal, which was opposed by the pro-Indian and pro-Chinese lobbies of his party.

The pro-Chinese lobbies opposed MCC, as that would curtail the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China. Likewise, the pro-Indian lobbies opposed MCC, as they wanted to divert the $500 million project either to India or Bhutan.

Meanwhile, NCP top brass has set aside two days for themselves – Monday and Tuesday – to sort out differences before they officially converge for an official meeting of the party’s Standing Committee on Wednesday, July 9, 2020.

“It is natural for disputes to take place in a political party, but the party should not succumb to those disputes and plunge towards split,” said NCP leader Debendra Poudel.

“Our party chairs PM Oli and Prachanda have focused their recent talks on the particular issues being raised in the party currently. If the two chairmen manage to come down to an agreement, our Standing Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday will be happy to endorse that agreement,” Poudel said.

Amid the growing distance between party chairs PM Oli and Prachanda, the second tier of NCP leaders had earlier urged both the sides to resolve their differences through dialogue and thereby reach an agreement.

On Friday, July 3, 2020, the second tier of NCP leaders met at the residence of Ghanashyam Bhusal in Kathmandu in a bid to find out a solution for the ongoing crisis within the ruling party.

“Some past agreements were reached among our party leaders including PM Oli and party co-chair Prachanda. We will urge our leaders to try to find a solution based on those previous agreements,” NCP leader Bhusal, who is also the Minister for Agriculture, was quoted as saying, after the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Shankar Pokhrel, who is the Standing Committee member and Chief Minister of Province Number 5, along with other Standing Committee members Surendra Pandey, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Janardan Sharma and Mani Thapa.

Government ministers including Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai, Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun and Forest Minister Shakti Basnet also attended the meeting along with PM Oli’s political adviser Bishnu Rimal.

“Our effort will be focused on saving the party from a split and urge our leaders to reach to a understanding at the earliest,” NCP leader Bhusal was further quoted, as saying.

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