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'Not Opportune Time To Talk About Resuming Tourist Visas to Chinese': MEA

MEA spokesperson said, “You are all aware of the COVID situation in Chinese cities like Shanghai and elsewhere."

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India
3 min read
'Not Opportune Time To Talk About Resuming Tourist Visas to Chinese': MEA
i

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday, 28 April, said that it was not an opportune moment to discuss resuming the issuance of tourist visas to Chinese nationals in view of the COVID-19 situation there.

The statement comes in response to queries about global airlines body, International Air Transport Association (IATA), telling its member carriers on 20 April that India has suspended tourist visas issued to Chinese nationals, news agency PTI reported.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “I think you are all aware of the COVID situation in Chinese cities like Shanghai and elsewhere. I don’t think it is an opportune moment really to discuss the resumption of issuance of tourist visas from China in the context of what is happening in Shanghai and the COVID situation there.”

Bagchi added that China had itself suspended issuance of most types of visas to Indians since November 2020.

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Meanwhile, speaking about Indian students who have not been able to go back for studies to China, Bagchi stated that during the last visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar had himself mentioned that the issue had been taken up.

He said, “We have requested them to look at the difficulties that students in India are facing. We have not had an update since then on this issue. This is an issue we are focussed on,” PTI reported.

On students from other countries like Sri Lanka being reportedly allowed to return to China, Bagchi said, “I don’t want to speculate, we are concerned about students in India and on that we don’t have any movement yet. If the Chinese are looking at options on how they can get students in, I sincerely hope Indian students will also benefit from those mechanisms.”

Approximately 22,000 Indian students enrolled in Chinese universities have been unable to go back for physical classes; an issue India has been raising with China. These students had to leave their studies in China and return to India when the COVID-19 pandemic began in the beginning of 2020.

Pakistan Calls Modi’s J&K Visit ‘Staged,’ India Rebukes

Meanwhile, India on Thursday slammed Pakistan for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir ‘staged’ and said that Islamabad has no locus standi to comment on the matters pertaining to the Union Territory.

Bagchi said, "I don't understand the word staged. It seems to indicate the visit did not take place and we are trying to show that it did.”

He added, "I think it's pretty clear that the reception that he (PM Modi) got and the visuals that you saw and the development projects that he inaugurated and the changes that have happened on the ground is a very clear answer to any questions that may be raised about Prime Minister's visit about it. In any case, I think Pakistan has no locus to talk about...it from its perspective on what's happening in Jammu and Kashmir but I answered in the context of if somebody is questioning the visit itself."

Modi, on 24 April, in his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, participated in the celebration of National Panchayati Raj Day and addressed all the gram sabhas across the country.

(With inputs from PTI.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Edited By :Tejas Harad
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