Will China's power play help save Nepal Communist Party?

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Dec 28, 2020, 11:19 PM(IST)

Nepal China friendship? Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China has dispatched a four-member team to Kathmandu and their only goal is to keep the Nepal Communist Party intact

Nepal is going through a period of political turmoil as the ruling party has split into two factions. The President has signed off on fresh elections in April next year which has proven out to be a stern test for Nepal's democracy. However, instead of letting Nepal figure out its own path, some countries are intent on creating trouble.

China has dispatched a four-member team to Kathmandu and their only goal is to keep the Nepal Communist Party intact. The team arrived in Nepal from Beijing on Sunday. Leading the delegation is Guo Yezhou, Vice Minister of the CCP's international department.

For Guo, Nepal is familiar territory. Back in 2018, he led a similar team to Kathmandu and the objective was to unite Nepal's two warring communist factions — Oli's marxist-leninist group and Dahal's maoist centre. That trip was a successful one as in May 2018 both factions joined hands and the Nepal Communist Party was formed.

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Two years later, Guo is employing the same strategy. He is strutting the corridors of power in Kathmandu with seemingly limitless access.

On Sunday, the team met President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli. The PM's team called it a courtesy call, but it was actually a bargain that Oli rejected.

The Chinese delegation wanted Oli to reverse his decision to dissolve the parliament. In return, Beijing would keep the rival faction at bay. Oli remains PM and the party remains intact. Unfortunately, for the Chinese, Oli reportedly declined.

On Monday, Guo and his team met the rival faction. They pressed the former Nepal Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, to reunite the two sides.

Also read| Nepal: Oli recommends calling Parliament winter session on January 1

China is wary of the upcoming elections. The communist vote will be split between the two factions and other parties could capitalise — parties that may not pursue a pro-China policy.

During their days of insurgency, China was among the biggest supporters. So today, it considers the NCP to be a natural ally bound by the thought of communism.

The people of Nepal do not reciprocate this feeling. Instead, they detest Chinese high-handedness and the protests are proof of it.

Geopolitically, Nepal is a crucial ally for China. So, a favourable government in Kathmandu would give Beijing the upper hand against India. A communist split, on the other hand, threatens this objective.

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