Indian envoy to China was not called at 0200 hrs

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New Delhi, Apr 12 (UNI) The Chinese Foreign Ministry had not called India's envoy in Beijing, Ms Nirupama Rao, to the Foreign Office reportedly in the middle of the night, top diplomatic sources said here today.

Reports here last month said Ms Rao was called by the Chinese Foreign Ministry at 0200 hrs to lodge a protest against the breaking into the Chinese embassy in New Delhi by Tibetan demonstrators.

Irked by the incident, the Indian government had reportdely cancelled a scheduled visit to China by Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath.

Playing down the entire incident, the sources said Ms Rao was called by the Chinese Foreign Ministry at 2100 hrs. However, as she was busy with other engagements, she went to the Ministry at 2300 hrs.

Asked why was she called at 2100 hrs, the sources said seven Chinese embassies all over the world, including India, were hit by Tibetan demonstrators the same day. That made the Chinese worried.

''Any State would get worried. They panicked and called her and said please do something...It is a normal reaction. The important thing is not the time but what was told to her,'' the sources added.

Asked why did not the government come out with a clarification when it was reported in the media that Ms Rao was called at 0200 hrs and also what was conveyed to her, the sources said the conversation between the Indian envoy and the Chinese Foreign Ministry was ''privileged.'' ''It is a privileged conversation. We can't go public about it,'' they added.

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