MEA Flags Plight Of Indian Students Studying In China, Asks Beijing To Take ‘Congenial Stance’


New Delhi: Noting that the continued Covid-19 restrictions have been affecting the careers of Indian students enrolled in Chinese Universities, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that it would keep urging Beijing to adopt a ‘congenial stance’ to facilitate the students’ return.    

“We have highlighted the plight of the students and how the continuation of these stringent restrictions was putting the academic careers of thousands of students in jeopardy,” news agency PTI quoted MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi as saying.

“Our embassy in Beijing, our consulates and ministry have been taking up this matter with the relevant authorities in China on numerous occasions, since the restrictions were imposed,” Bagchi said, adding, “let me clarify that till date, the Chinese side has not given any categorical response about the return of Indian students. We will continue to urge the Chinese side to adopt a congenial stance in the interest of our students and that they facilitate an early return to China so that our students can pursue their studies.”

Referring to a statement by a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on February 8, that the country is looking into the matter in a coordinated manner and that arrangements for the return of students to China are being examined, Bagchi said that the issue was also taken up with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during a meeting in Dushanbe in last September.

Replying to a separate query on whether Wang was scheduled to visit India later this month, Bagchi said that he doesn’t have any information on that at the moment.

However, people familiar with the matter, on Wednesday said that a visit to India by Wang is likely but there is no finality yet.

It is also learnt that the proposal for the visit came from the Chinese side and Wang also intends to travel to Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh as part of a four-nation tour.

Notably, the two foreign ministers had held talks in the Tajik capital city on the sidelines of a conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

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