NEW DELHI: In what seems like a political move in the midst of strained relations and a military stand-off in the Himalayas, China has said it will evacuate its citizens, stranded due to the lockdown in India, from next week in case they are facing difficulties.
According to reports, China has arranged flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata to Shanghai, Chongqing, Jinan, Guangzhou and Zhengzhou, starting June 2. The Chinese embassy on its website asked citizens wishing to return to book themselves on the flights. MEA sources said they would facilitate the return of the Chinese as they had with over 60,000 foreigners till last week.
Given that China’s announcement that it will repatriate its citizens comes at a time when ties have dipped with India deciding to scrutinise Chinese investments, backing moves for an inquiry into the origin of coronavirus and stepped up confrontations in east Ladakh, the move set off a fresh round of speculation.
Though Indian and Chinese troops have settled into a stalemate of sorts, the Indian forces are on high alert. The visit of Army chief Gen M M Naravane to the region signalled a heightened level of alertness. Chinese troops have infiltrated into Indian territory in parts of Ladakh, which has resulted in standoffs in four-five locations.