Mamata Banerjee calls off China visit

Says political meetings not confirmed.

June 22, 2018 05:26 pm | Updated 10:03 pm IST - Kolkata

 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in New Delhi on June 16, 2018.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in New Delhi on June 16, 2018.

Hours before she was to board the flight, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday called off her visit to China.

Ms. Banerjee attributed the last-minute cancellation to “non-confirmation of the political meetings at the appropriate level.”

“It has now been intimated by our Ambassador in China that the political meetings at the appropriate level under the Exchange Programme could not be confirmed. Therefore, the purpose of my visit with a delegation to China under the Exchange Programme is of no use,” the Chief Minister said on social media, elaborating on her decision to cancel the visit.

Were working hard for visit, says China

A statement from the Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata, however, said that at “the time the announcement was made, the Chinese side was still working on the arrangements and remained in contact with the Indian Embassy in China”.

“It was working hard to prepare for the Chief Minister’s trip to China, including on the relevant arrangements during the visit,” the statement said, adding that the Chinese side attached great importance to its relationship with India and to the exchanges between the Chinese provinces and Indian states.

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