With soldiers of the two nations engaged in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, New Delhi on Friday clarified that the proposed celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China had not yet been started.
New Delhi dismissed Beijing’s allegation that the proposed release of a postal stamp commemorating the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two nations had to be called off as India did not provide China with any feedback before the time of the launch mutually agreed by both sides.
“This is factually incorrect,” Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said.
He was reacting to a tweet by Ji Rong, the spokesperson of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Delhi, blaming the lack of feedback from the Government of India for the cancellation of the release of the commemorative stamp by the State Post Bureau of the communist country.
“It may also be noted that the launch of the 70th-anniversary celebrations itself has not taken place yet, and therefore, the issue of going ahead with joint activities under its ambit does not arise,” Srivastava told journalists in New Delhi.
He said that the joint release of commemorative stamps to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and China was one of the activities agreed upon by New Delhi and Beijing last year. But, the MEA spokesperson added, the two sides had no discussion on any date for the release of the stamp.
India and China established diplomatic relations on April 1, 1950. The two sides had planned to hold 70 events in 2020-21 to commemorate its 70th anniversary.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their second “informal summit” at a seaside resort near Chennai, they had discussed commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
New Delhi and Beijing, however, had to postpone all such events in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had written to each other exchanging greetings on April 1 this year. So did Xi and President Ram Nath Kovind.
But no other event could be held, not only for the Covid-19 pandemic but also because the two nations got engaged in a military stand-off, which brought the relations to a new low over the past seven months.