Days after she met Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Chinese ambassador Hou Yanqi on Thursday met Nepal Communist Party’s executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. The former Prime Minister now claims control over the ruling party after removing Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli from the posts of the party’s parliamentary leader and chair and has been embroiled in a tug-of-war over control of the ruling party that has resulted in the last week in the dissolution of the nation’s Parliament and the announcement of early elections. The role of the Chinese envoy in the events that have gone on over the last couple of months, which include Oli pivoting away from India via provocative moves by his government, has been the subject of enormous speculation.

According to The Himalayan Times, Yanqi called on Dahal at his residence in Khumaltar, Lalitpur following the controversial dissolution of House of Representatives – the decision that has led to the formal splitting up of the largest party in Nepal.

A member from Dahal’s secretariat confirmed the meeting of around half an hour to The Kathmandu Post and described it as an “informal” meeting. “Ambassador Hou met with Dahal today,” said a member of the Dahal’s secretariat. The member did not provide details but said, “discussions must have revolved around contemporary political developments.”