West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has had to cancel her trip to China at the last minute following no confirmation about a scheduled political exchange programme from Chinese government representatives and members of Communist Party of China (CPC). Banerjee was scheduled to leave for an eight-day trip to China Friday night.
“Till yesterday, everything was going well, but unfortunately, the Chinese side could not confirm the political meetings at an appropriate level as informed by our Ambassador to China. Our Indian Ambassador to China requested time till today 12.00 noon of our time which is 2.30 pm of China’s time for confirmation to the political meetings, as proposed by the Indian Ambassador to the Chinese authority,” reads a press release issued by the state government.
The chief minister was scheduled to depart for Beijing at 11.50 pm Friday. Besides Beijing, she also had to visit Sanghai and interact with the industrialists there to attract investments.
Accompanied by state chief secretary, Malaya Kumar De, state finance minister, Amit Mitra told mediapersons at the state secretariat on Friday noon, that the Indian Ambassador in Beijiing has not given any confirmation either to the union external affairs ministry or the state government of details, including the date, time and schedule of the proposed political exchange programme, with Chinese government representatives and CPC leaders.
“The Chief Minister agreed to visit China following the request of union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Mamata Banerjee also said that she agreed to make the China trip in the interest of the nation. However, there has been no confirmation on this count as yet. So in absence of the political exchange programme, the trip is of no use and hence she had decided to cancel her China trip,” Mitra said.
“Although the chief minister has cancelled her trip, she has expressed wishes for the success of continuing friendship between the two countries,” added Mitra.