New Delhi: India, on Thursday, April 28, said it is not the opportune time for the resumption of issuance of tourist visas for China because of the COVID pandemic.
“You are all aware of the Covid situation in Chinese cities like Shanghai and elsewhere. I don’t think this is an opportune moment to discuss the resumption of issuance of tourist visas from China,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters in New Delhi.
He also said, “You are also aware that China has suspended the issue of most types of visas to Indians since November 2020.”
Replying to queries, Mr Bagchi said Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Pakistan has no locus to talk about and from this perspective on what’s happening in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Bagchi.
“I think it’s pretty clear that the reception that PM Modi got and the visuals that you saw and the development projects that he inaugurated and the changes that have happened on the ground is a very clear answer to any question that may be raised about the Prime Minister’s visit about it,” the MEA spokesman said.
The spokesperson also said some components of the ‘Vande Bharat’ train are made in Ukraine, but the delivery schedule has been impacted due to the ongoing conflict. He said India is looking for options for timely delivery.
On the Visas issue, he further said, “Chinese themselves have not issued visas to us. I think travel to China is not the easiest of things, nor is travel out of China, I presume. So I don’t know how this issue of resumption of tourist visa has come up.”
He said – “I see nothing that indicates there is a resumption of tourist visa on the table that has recent developments.”
“As regards the issue of students, yes, this is something that has come up a couple of times, we have discussed. During the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, I think External Affairs Minister himself mentioned that we have taken it up. There’s something where we believe that the Chinese Government, you know, we have requested them to look at the situation…but unfortunately, I do not have or have not heard any update since then on this issue,” he added.
This is an issue that the Indian authorities are focused on, he maintained.