Kamal Nath's Beijing visit called off due to 'date' problems

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) Commerce and Industry Minister, Kamal Nath today said that the cancellation of his trip to China has nothing to do with the ongoing violence in Tibet.

''The trip to China has not been cancelled due to any diplomatic issues but because of some date problems that I have,'' Mr Nath told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

The government had cancelled Commerce Minister's trip to Beijing to attend the meeting of the Joint Economic Group in the first week of April 2008, to take forward talks on a preferential trade agreement with China. This move was, hence perceived as a fallout of Tibetan protests which are reportedly being felt in Delhi.

Reports suggested that India's call off was to hit back at China, for its high handed behaviour with the Indian ambassador, by cancelling Mr Nath's trip to Beijing.

India is peeved, after the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao at 2 am in the night of Friday, March 21. The Chinese had called Nirupama Rao to protest against the security breach by Tibetan protestors in the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.

Reports suggested that the Chinese gave out details of plans drawn by Tibetans to organize more protests in India. Though India has avoided getting into a war of words with Beijing, it has expressed its resentment by cancelling Mr Nath's visit to China.

UNI PDT MP BD1430

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