Nepal's King Gyanendra meets Thursday, with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, the first senior foreign leader to travel to Kathmandu since the monarch seized absolute power last month.

The king's action drew international condemnation, but China called it an internal matter for Nepal.

The king says the move was necessary to crush nearly a decade old Maoist insurgency that has already claimed more than 1,000 lives.

Rebels, who want to replace Nepal's monarchy with a communist state, have increased attacks on government forces since the king dismissed the government on February 1.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.