As the political uncertainty in Nepal reaches a tipping point, China has dispatched a top Minister to the Himalayan country in the last-ditch effort to bring together the warring factions of Oli and Prachanda to salvage whatever is left of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), thereby helping maintain China’s iron grip over Kathmandu.
As the Chinese Communist Party was celebrating over how it was successful in making Nepal its latest client state by enticing, the carpet was swept from beneath its feet as Nepalese PM Oli unilaterally decided to dissolve the parliament and call for fresh elections, thereby bringing the curtains down on China’s CCP.
While China’s Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi is yet again working overtime by having closed-door meetings with Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prachanda, the CCP realises that things have taken a drastic turn this time around in Nepal, and hence, Guo Yezhou, vice-minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, will be arriving in Kathmandu for a four-day visit.
Reportedly, Guo along with his four-member team will hold meetings with both the factions of the NCP who are currently at loggerheads with each other, the details of which are yet to be revealed.
The Oli government was extremely unstable ever since its initiation and only survived due to the constant intervention of Chinese envoy Hou Yanqi, who raised concerns in the global community over China’s increased meddling in the internal affairs of Nepal.
China’s support to the Oli government, of course, came at a cost, with Oli having to dance on the tunes of Xi Jinping and turn a blind eye, as China began illegally occupying the Nepalese territories.
After it seemed like Nepal was on its way to become the latest client state of China, Indian diplomacy worked overtime to restrict Chinese influence in Nepal which led to Oli changing his tunes and siding with India. He even removed his pro-China Defence minister, which was followed by the visits of Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shringla, Army Chief General Naravane with the RAW Chief Samant Kumar Goel meeting Oli in October.
Perhaps Nepal’s frequent meetings with India’s top brass nudged Oli into catching both Prachanda and China off-guard and dissolve the parliament. While China is seeing Oli as a lost hope and aggressively courting Oli’s bete-noire, Prachanda, the CCP would ideally like both the leaders to continue their erstwhile united front given the time spent by Yanqi to save the NCP on repeated occasions.
The decision to dispatch a top Minister further reveals how Nepal is fast becoming a deciding contest between Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Modi. Currently, the latter has managed to checkmate Jinping in the game of chess that Nepal is, with Jinping getting increasingly desperate with the next option being Xi Jinping himself visiting Kathmandu and mediating between Oli and Prachanda.