Kolkata: The most awaited China tour of Mamata Banerjee has been cancelled on June 22, Friday afternoon.
She was scheduled to fly to China on June 22 night on a eight day visit. The Nabanna authority on Friday in a press conference said that, the scheduled meeting has been cancelled.
Reportedly, the two government is scheduled share their political views and agenda. But seemingly the communication is not clear till now. 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.
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is at present out of the country, and Foreign Secretary V K Gokhale were informed about the cancellation of Banerjee’s visit.
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.”
Noting 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.”
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, she said.
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.
According to sources in Beijing, the CPC did not facilitate her meeting with any senior leader other than Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC)
The international department is in-charge of conducting relations with various political parties of the world, including India, and hosts and interacts with visiting political leaders
But considering her stature in Indian politics, India had proposed a meeting with a member of the powerful seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, the highest body of the party which governs the country, the sources told.
The committee is headed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also the General Secretary of the CPC.
Her visit has been cancelled due to the failure of the CPC officials to understand and appreciate her stature both as chief minister and as head of the political party, the Trinamool Congress and the importance of her visit, the sources said.
There was no immediate comment from the CPC on the cancellation of Banerjee’s visit.When Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited China in 2016, he had met Zhao Leji, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the CPC Central Committee Organisation Department, besides Song.
Sources said Banerjee’s visit was expected to be rescheduled as both the countries have been making efforts to improve the relations following the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi providing a new direction to the bilateral ties.
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.
Banerjee was scheduled to address a high-profile meeting of CEOs of Chinese companies in Shanghai as part of efforts to scout for Chinese investment in the eastern state of West Bengal.