No word on meetings, Mamata cancels 9-day China trip
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancelled her China visit on Friday as "political meetings at the appropriate level" were not confirmed by the Chinese government, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra said.
The Trinamool Congress chief was slated to leave for China on Friday night.
She was scheduled to lead a delegation to China under the exchange programme of the Government of India with the International Department of the Communist Party of China.
Mitra said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is presently out of the country, and Foreign Secretary V K Gokhale were informed about the cancellation of Banerjee's visit to China.
In a Facebook post, the chief minister said, "In March this year, the Union minister of external affairs had recommended to me to kindly consider leading a delegation to China in the coming months under the exchange programme of the Government of India with the International Department of the Communist Party of China."
Stating that she had agreed to the proposal, Banerjee said, "I mentioned to her that since the interest of my country is involved, I wish to visit China sometime during last week of June, 2018."
She added that pursuant to letters from the state chief secretary and the ambassador of India in China, a programme was chalked out and the visit was planned.
Till Thursday, everything was "going well", the chief minister said, adding that unfortunately, "the political meetings at the appropriate level" could not be confirmed.
"It has now been intimated by our Ambassador in China that the political meetings at the appropriate level under the Exchange Programme could not be confirmed. Therefore, the purpose of my visit with a delegation to China under the Exchange Programme is of no use," she said.
Banerjee said although the Indian ambassador in China tried his best to make her visit a success, the non-confirmation of the political meetings "at the last moment", had "unfortunately compelled us to cancel the visit".
"However, I wish the continuation of the friendship of India and China in the days to come and it should strengthen further in the interest of both the countries," she added.