Chinese ambassador Hou Yanqi had recently met the Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari at the presidential palace Shital Niwas, local media reported.
The hour-long meeting comes two days after the President signed off on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s recommendation to dissolve parliament, a precursor to the split in Nepal’s communist party that the Chinese leadership had been trying to avert.
The Nepal Communist Party was formed less than three years ago with the merger of PM Oli-led Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) and his rival Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda’s Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre. The power tussle between PM Oli and Prachanda intensified over the last several months after Prachanda accused the prime minister of violating their power-sharing pact.
Chinese envoy Hou had been able to convince the two sides to patch up on previous occasions this year but has been less than successful over the last few months, particularly after Beijing indicated that it wasn’t averse to a change of prime minister if it keeps the communist party intact.
There was no official word about the Chinese envoy’s discussions with the President on Tuesday. One version swirling in Kathmandu’s political circles was that Tuesday’s meeting was to discuss supply of Covid vaccines. But this version is viewed suspiciously.