Monday, Jun 17, 2024 | Last Update : 08:31 AM IST

  Metros   Kolkata  23 Jun 2018  Row over CM cancelling China visit

Row over CM cancelling China visit

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 23, 2018, 7:05 am IST
Updated : Jun 23, 2018, 7:05 am IST

Mamata was to lead a delegation of industrialists from state to Beijing.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, chief secretary Malay De, state minister Sovan Chatterjee with other officials fagging off fire fighting tenders and by-cycles at Nabanna on Friday. (Photo:Asian Age)
 Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, chief secretary Malay De, state minister Sovan Chatterjee with other officials fagging off fire fighting tenders and by-cycles at Nabanna on Friday. (Photo:Asian Age)

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has cancelled her visit to China on Friday citing no green signal from the neighbouring country, which may create a fresh diplomatic row between the two countries. She was supposed to fly to Beijing in the evening leading a delegation of industrialists from the state aparently to explore investment possibilities.

According to the Trinamul Congress supremo, no confirmation from China to Indian Ambassador in China Gautam Bambawale about the “political meetings” during her proposed visit forced her to cancel it although everything was on track till Thursday.

Politely refuting Ms Banerjee’s arguments for her cancellation of China visit within few hours the Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata, however, shot back stating that the Chinese side was still on the job of making arrangments for her visit.

Informing that China was ‘working hard’ for Ms Banerjee’s visit the Chinese mission even asserted that China stayed in touch with the Indian embassy in Beijing during the announcement of cancellation of her visit.

In the afternoon Ms Banerjee tweeted, “In March this year, the Union Minister of External Affairs had recommended to me to kindly consider leading a delegation to China in the coming months under the Exchange Programme of the Government of India with the International Department of the Communist Party of China. In response, on April 2, 2018, I appreciated her recommendation for me to lead the delegation to China under the Exchange Programme.”

Giving details of her visit she elaborated, “I mentioned that “since the interest of my country is involved, I wish to visit China sometime during last week of June, 2018. Thereafter, in pursuance of the letters from chief secretary and the Ambassador of India in China, a programme was chalked out, based on which we planned our visit in the coming week. Till yesterday, everything was going on well, but unfortunately, the Chinese side could not confirm the political meetings at appropriate level as informed by our Ambassador in China.”

She added, “It has now been intimated by our Ambassador in China that the political meetings at the appropriate level under the Exchange Programme could not be confirmed. Therefore, the purpose of my visit with a delegation to China under the Exchange Programme is of no use,” the West Bengal chief minister explained.

“Although our Ambassador in China had tried his best to make the programme a success, non-confirmation of the political meetings at the appropriate level as proposed by the Indian Ambassador to China, at the last moment, has unfortunately compelled us to cancel the visit. However, I wish the continuation of the friendship of India and China in the days to come and it should strengthen further in the interest of both the countries.”

State finance minister Amit Mitra who also announced the cancellation of Ms Banerjee’s visit to China alongwith state chief secretary Malay Kumar De at state secretariat: Nabanna around same time pointed out that the chief minister’s visit in absence of any confirmation from China to the Indian Ambassador in that country would not serve any purpose.

In the evening the Consulate General of China in Kolkata said in a statement, “We have taken note of the fact that Madam Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, announced the cancellation of her trip to China on the afternoon of 22 June 2018.”

It elaborated, “The Chinese side attaches great importance to its relationship with India and to the exchanges between the Chinese provinces and the Indian states. It was working hard to prepare for the Chief Minister’s trip to China, including on the relevant arrangements during the visit. At the time the announcement was made, the Chinese side was still working on the arrangements and remained in contact with the Indian Embassy in China.”

The statement added, “The Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata has all along been committed to promoting ties between the Chinese provinces and West Bengal, and will continue its efforts in enhancing friendly exchanges and cooperation between the provinces and this state in economic, trade, cultural, educational and other fields.”

Tags: mamata banerjee, indian ambassador, chinese