Congress today did a big flip flop after admitting that party vice president Rahul Gandhi had met Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui. This comes hours after Congress’ denial that no such meeting took place, according to reports. Congress spokesperson RS Surjewala said that various ambassadors and envoys keep meeting Congress President and Vice President time to time on courtesy basis. Surjewala said that Rahul not only met Chinese envoy but also Bhutanese envoy and former National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon. He also said that nobody should attempt to sensationalize the issue. A controversy erupted after the news of this meeting which reportedly took place on July 8 came to the fore. A release on Chinese embassy website read Gandhi and Zhaohui had exchanged views on the present bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries, as per reports. However, Chinese embassy had removed the post later without ascribing any reason, the report says. Surjewala also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying despite having sour relations with the China, the PM met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Germany, as per ANI report.
Congress has rejected all the criticism saying such meetings are totally normal and asked why this brouhaha over the issue. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that tje issue is close to the party.
Earlier, Surjewala had termed news pertaining to the meeting as fake. “A wanting to be ‘Bhakt’ channel will not question 3 Union Ministers visiting China or PM’s bonhomie & praise at G20 yet run fake news!” he tweeted.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Andullah said that it was not crime to meet the Chinese. Abdullah, however, said that the confusion has ended up making a story where none was needed.
A few days ago Gandhi had criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking why the latter was silent on the recent Chinese aggression on the border. New Delhi and Beijing have been engaged in a standoff in the Doklam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese Army’s construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. The two neighbouring superpowers share 3,488-km-long border spreading from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. Of this a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.
Watch this video
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) July 10, 2017
On July 6, Chinese authorities ruled out one-ono-one meeting meeting between PM Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg citing that atmosphere was not right for such talk. The “atmosphere is not right” for a bilateral meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi, Chinese Foreign Ministry officials had said.
Earlier, there were reports that PM Modi and Xi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to resolve the standoff. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang expressed hope that “India can immediately withdraw the border troops to the Indian side of the boundary to uphold the peace tranquillity of the China and India border areas”. “I think this is the pre-condition for any meaningful peace talks between the two sides,” he told a media briefing here when asked about the meeting between Modi and Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
China’s state-run media had quoted Chinese analysts as saying that Beijing would be forced to use a “military way” to end the standoff in the Sikkim sector if India refuses to listen to the “historical lessons” being offered by it, as per PTI report.