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Mamata cancels visit to China at the last moment. What went wrong?

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 22 June 2018, 20:06 IST


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has canceled her visit to China, barely a few hours before she was scheduled to fly to Beijing on Friday night.

In a series of tweets, Banerjee explained that she was “compelled” to cancel the visit at the last minute since the Chinese officials could not confirm her proposed meetings with key political leaders.

Banerjee said, “India's ambassador in China intimated us 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 is of no use.”

Banerjee stated, “ In March this year, the Union Minister of External Affairs had recommended to me to consider leading a delegation to China in the coming months under the exchange program of the Government of India with the International Department of the Communist Party of China. In response, on 2 April, 2018, I accepted the recommendation to lead the delegation to China.”

“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,” she added.

Even while expressing her inability to continue with the visit, she wished for the continuation of the friendship between India and China.

West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra said “ We waited till the last moment thinking that we will get a positive response from the Ministry of External Affairs, but ultimately MEA informed us today afternoon that Communist Party of China could not confirm the appropriate level meeting under the exchange programme and that’s why chief minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to cancel the plan to visit China.”

Ma Zhanwu, Chinese consul general in Kolkata said, "We have just heard that Banerjee has canceled her plan to visit China. I have to check what went wrong”.

It may be mentioned that for the past few years a large number of business delegations from China have come to West Bengal to look after investment opportunities, especially in the field of manufacturing, fertilisers and food processing. China's ambassador to India Luo Zhauhui met Banerjee in March in Kolkata and the duo discussed possibilities of increasing investment in the field of micro and small scale industries and agriculture.


First published: 22 June 2018, 20:06 IST