In a surprising turn of events, after promising the grant of visas, Chinese embassy on Friday rejected visa applications of two Indian researchers, members of India Foundation, who were scheduled to visit China for a convention at Fudan University in Shanghai.
Apart from the two scholars, China has also put Director of India Foundation, Alok Bansal’s visa on hold.
It should be noted that Alok Bansal specialises in strategic affairs of South East Asia and Pakistan.
The researchers, Srishti and Siddharth, along with Alok Bansal were supposed to fly to China on Monday to attend the joint event which has been scheduled annually from past 4 years. It used to be a smooth visa process earlier but this time, the visas have been denied without giving any reasons.
While speaking to NewsX, Alok Bansal said, “Ram Madhav wasn’t going to China so there is no question of his visa denial. Fudan University has approached us in 2014 for bilateral interaction agreement. We were invited by them and have been meeting them. Every year they have visited us twice and we had to go this year as a routine.
I was leading the delegation of 7 members. Two members senior were denied visa yesterday so we cancelled the tour.”
Speaking on the reasons for visa rejection, he said, “No idea why the visa was denied, it’s discretion of Chinese govt to give visa. It’s a shock because we didn’t think that visa would be a problem.”
“We had a word with Fudan University, they are disappointed. We will just wait for the clearance. Seeing the sudden developments in border, the possibility of hidden political vendetta cannot be denied,” he added.
There is much speculation that the prevailing political tensions between the two countries over border issues have played a role in this u-turn by China.