Concerned over the recent political crisis in Nepal following the dissolution of the House of Representatives, a high-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) delegation arrived in Kathmandu and started marathon meetings with the top leadership of the Himalayan nation.
On Sunday evening, Guo Yezhou, Vice Minister of the CPC, held talks with President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
Oli's Foreign Affairs Advisor Rajan Bhattarai said Guo visited the Prime Minister on Sunday night even though the meeting was said to have been scheduled for Monday.
The meeting lasted for around two hours. However, the matters they discussed during the meeting are yet to be revealed.
The four-member CPC delegation also held a meeting with President Bhandari at the Shital Niwas during which they held talks on bilateral issues and the row within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
The team is also scheduled to meet top leaders of the NCP, as well as of the opposition Nepali Congress.
A delegation arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday.
According to experts, the visit from the north comes on the heels of a vertical split in the ruling NCP which is believed to have been formed with a lot of efforts by the Chinese in May 2018.
Months before Oli's CPN-UML and Pushpa Kamal Dahal's CPN (Maoist Centre) announced the formation of the NCP, a Chinese delegation led by Gou had visited Kathmandu in February 2018.
Both parties had contested the 2017 elections under a communist alliance and secured a thumping victory.
According to NCP sources, the Chinese have but one stated position -- a unified party and stability in Nepal.
Sources have said that the Chinese were taken by surprise when Oli dissolved the House, thereby effecting a split in the party.
Their concerns, however, had started to grow after a flurry of visits from India with which Oli had taken a hostile approach over border issues.
Vice-minister Guo is the first foreign official to visit Nepal since President Bhandari dissolved Parliament on December 20.
An NCP leader who has been in communication with the Chinese told The Kathmandu Post newspaper that Guo-led delegation was in Kathmandu to convey the message of the Chinese leadership, including President Xi Jinping, to the party leadership.
"Besides this, the Chinese side has not communicated to us any other thing," the leader told the newspaper requesting anonymity.
Apart from the NCP crisis, the Chinese delegation will also try to assess the overall political situation in Nepal, according to the leader.
Political observers have noted that China, like in the past, has been particularly concerned over the row within the ruling NCP, and the latest political developments in Nepal.
The Chinese government's move about the micro-management of Nepali politics has drawn international attention towards the Himalayan nation, of late, observers have said.