West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancels maiden China visit
Mamata said: Till yesterday, everything was going on well but unfortunately, the Chinese side could not confirm the political meetings at the appropriate level'
KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancelled her maiden visit to China at the last moment on Friday citing non-confirmation of political meetings at 'appropriate levels' by the Chinese Communist Party.
Issuing a press communiqué, the Trinamool Congress supremo said: "Till yesterday, everything was going on well but unfortunately, the Chinese side could not confirm the political meetings at the appropriate level as informed by our Ambassador in China. Therefore, the purpose of my visit with a delegation to China under the Exchange Programme is of no use."
Mamata had deposed the longest-serving democratically elected communist government in the world by ending the 34-year-long CPM rule in West Bengal in 2011. Mamata Banerjee said that she was approached by Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in March urging her to lead a delegation from India for an exchange programme of Government of India with International Department of Chinese Communist Party which she accepted on April 2 stating that she was ready to visit China in June end.
She was supposed to fly to Beijing from Kolkata via Singapore on Friday evening. She had plans to stay in Beijing till June 27 and then travel to Shanghai till June 30. The West Bengal Chief Minister was supposed to hold one-on-one meetings with Chinese politicians and bureaucrats in Beijing and with Chinese businessmen in Shanghai.
However, the TMC supremo did not let despair loom large over the cancellation of the trip and hoped that good relations between India and China would continue. "I wish the continuation of the friendship of India and China in the days to come and it should strengthen further in the interest of both the countries," she added. The West Bengal Chief Minister had earlier visited Singapore, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and Bangladesh to attract investors and to Italy during the canonisation of Mother Teresa.