Noting that India has been raising with China the plight of Indian students, studying in Chinese universities and unable to go back for physical classes, the external affairs ministry on Thursday urged Beijing to adopt a “congenial stance” in the matter as the continuation of these strict restrictions was putting the academic careers of thousands of students in jeopardy.
Replying to a separate query on whether Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi was visiting India later this month, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said,”I have a very short answer on this. I don’t have any information to share on this at this moment.” People familiar with the matter on Wednesday said that a visit to India by Wang later this month could be on the cards but there is no finality on it yet.
It is 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. On Indian students studying in China unable to return to that country, Bagchi said India has taken up the issue with Beijing. “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,” he said.
Bagchi also referred to the statements made by the Chinese foreign ministry on February 8 and March 14 on the issue. He also referred to a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on February 8 that China is looking into the matter in a coordinated manner and that arrangements for allowing foreign students to return to China are being examined.
“But 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,” Bagchi said.
He said the issue was also taken up with Wang by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during a meeting in Dushanbe in September last. The two foreign ministers had held talks in the Tajik capital city on the sidelines of a conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).