KATHMANDU, Nov 18: Amid growing intra-party conflict within the ruling Nepal Communist Party, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi held a meeting with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday evening.
The meeting which took place at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Baluwatar lasted for one and half hour, according to sources familiar with the development. However, what transpired between the prime minister and Chinese Ambassador has yet to be known.
The meeting took place at a time when the ruling NCP is embroiled with growing intra-party disputes as rival factions—one led by PM Oli and the other led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal over a host of issues including the controversy that surfaced in the party following the whirlwind visit of Samant Goel, the chief of Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), last month. The two leaders were also at odds over the appointment of ambassadors and new ministers in the Cabinet.
The Dahal faction has been insisting on holding a meeting of the party’s crucial Secretariat to discuss all contentious issues while Oli and Secretariat members close to him have been accusing the Dahal faction of harboring factionalism in the party.
The Dahal-led faction is mounting pressure on KP Sharma Oli to step down either as the prime minister or the party chairperson. During her meeting, the Chinese Ambassador is said to have raised her concern over the NCP’s internal dispute and suggested to work toward resolving the differences.
People on social media have criticized the ambassador’s meeting with the prime minister calling it China’s interference in Nepal’s internal political affairs.
Earlier in July, Ambassador Hou had also met key NCP leaders when the party's intra-party conflict was at its peak.