India, China spat continues as New Delhi asks Beijing to give clearance for relief, evacuation of nationals 

WION New Delhi, India Feb 23, 2020, 10.20 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

PM Modi had written to Chinese President Xi Jinping and offered Indian assistance in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed many in the country.

In a public statement, the Ministry of External Affairs has called on China to give a "positive consideration" over relief and the evacuation flight that India wanted to send.

The spokesperson for the MEA Raveesh Kumar said, "In a humanitarian gesture of medical relief, a gift reflecting the solidarity of the people of India with the people of China is expected to be delivered to Wuhan by a special flight. We have also called upon the Chinese authorities to allow Indian citizens and those of our neighbouring countries to return by the same flight. We hope that they will give it positive consideration.”

PM Modi had written to Chinese President Xi Jinping and offered Indian assistance in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed many in the country.

Also read: China delaying permission to India to send IAF plane to Wuhan

The request for relief and evacuation flight was sent on February 13 and the proposed flight was expected to take off on February 20 but no clearance was given by Chinese side. During this time, three foreign flights were able to leave Wuhan.

India also reminded China, that it will "take precautions... in accordance with the WHO’s advisory about the outbreak of coronavirus infection, which is a global public health emergency" after Beijing called for ease of restrictions on trade and travel.

The MEA said, "Some restrictions have been imposed on the export of certain medical equipment in view of the fact that these items are in short supply here too." 

Explaining, "responding to the needs of our Chinese friends, the government had allowed a one-time exemption for the export of some items which had been restricted for export."

The Chinese Embassy in a statement called on the Indian side to "review the epidemic situation in an objective, rational and calm manner" and "resume normal personnel exchanges and trade between our two countries as soon as possible."