China on Monday appealed to the warring factions of the Nepal Communist Party to properly handle their disputes and strive for political stability as a high-level delegation of the Chinese Communist Party made efforts to bring about a rapprochement between feuding leaders. China rushed a team of officials headed by Vice Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Guo Yezhou to Kathmandu on Sunday after its high-profile Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi failed to sort out differences between Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and his rival Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda'.
Nepal plunged into a political crisis last Sunday after Prime Minister Oli, known for his pro-Beijing leanings, in a surprise move, recommended dissolving the 275-member House. Acting on the prime minister's recommendation, Nepal's President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House the same day and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10, sparking protests from a large section of the NCP led by Prachanda, also a co-chair of the ruling party.
While China's open meddling in Nepal's politics raised eyebrows, Beijing on Monday sought to defend Guo's visit, saying it was aimed at deepening exchanges and cooperation between the CPC and Nepal's political parties. Asked whether Guo's visit was aimed at bringing about a political reconciliation between the two groups within the NCP, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that China has noted the "developments in Nepal's political situation".
"As a friend and close neighbour, we sincerely hope that all sides in Nepal will bear in mind the nation's interest and the overall picture and properly handle internal disputes and strive to achieve political stability and national development," Zhao said. "The CPC upholds the principle of inter-party relation featuring independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference," he said. "The party will work together with all political parties in Nepal to promote China and Nepal's strategic cooperation partnership, everlasting friendship and promote benefits to two people and two countries," Zhao said.
He said China and Nepal are "good neighbours, friends and partners for a long period of time. In recent years Beijing has invested heavily in various projects in a bid to firm up its ties with the Himalayan country. Zhao said the CPC has maintained close and friendly exchanges with major political parties in Nepal "which has helped promote the two sides political mutual trust and deepen mutual learning in governance and promoting practical cooperation and consolidating traditional friendship.
He said as this year is the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nepal, "Guo's delegation will hold exchanges with the Nepalese side on issues about epidemic prevention control, state governance, cooperation and development and other issues of shared interests, and will work to deepen exchange and cooperation between political parties between the two sides," he said.