Rahul Gandhi meets Chinese ambassador ‘informally’? What is Congress cooking?

As the tense Bhutan-Bharat vs China border face-off over Doka La (Doklam) has stretched for over 3 weeks, and amidst beating of war drums by China’s Communist Party organs, comes the news of a secretive meeting between Chinese Ambassador to Bharat Luo Zhaohui and Vice-President of opposition Congress party Rahul Gandhi over the weekend. This news has been reported by at least three media outlets, Republic, Times Now and CNN-News 18

As is their wont, when it comes to foreign visits & dealings by the all-powerful Nehru-Gandhi clan, Congress has yet to clarify their position on this meeting. But some ‘sources’ in Rahul Gandhi’s offices have denied any such meeting, if one is to believe ANI

CNN-News 18 has reported that the meeting had come about after this 7 July tweet by Rahul Gandhi –

Gandhi appears to be unaware that on 30 June, the External Affairs Ministry had made an official release on the matter, fully countering Chinese propaganda. The press release titled ‘Recent Developments in Doklam Area‘, which represents the official Government of Bharat position and by extension the position of PM Modi, says –

“The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement on 26 June 2017 alleging that Indian border troops crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary and entered Chinese territory. This has been reiterated since then in other Chinese official briefings. 

1.) The facts of the matter are as follows: 

i.On 16 June, a PLA construction party entered the Doklam area and attempted to construct a road. It is our understanding that a Royal Bhutan Army patrol attempted to dissuade them from this unilateral activity. The Ambassador of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has publicly stated that it lodged a protest with the Chinese Government through their Embassy in New Delhi on 20 June.

ii.Yesterday, the Foreign Ministry of Bhutan has also issued a statement underlining that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries. They have urged a return to the status quo as before 16 June 2017.

iii.In keeping with their tradition of maintaining close consultation on matters of mutual interest, RGOB and the Government of India have been in continuous contact through the unfolding of these developments.

iv.In coordination with the RGOB, Indian personnel, who were present at general area Doka La, approached the Chinese construction party and urged them to desist from changing the status quo. These efforts continue.

v.The matter has been under discussion between India and China at the diplomatic level in the Foreign Ministries since then, both in New Delhi and Beijing. It was also the subject of a Border Personnel Meeting at Nathu La on 20 June.

2.) India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India.

3.) In this context, the Indian side has underlined that the two Governments had in 2012 reached agreement that the tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries will be finalized in consultation with the concerned countries. Any attempt, therefore, to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding.

4.) Where the boundary in the Sikkim sector is concerned, India and China had reached an understanding also in 2012 reconfirming their mutual agreement on the “basis of the alignment”. Further discussions regarding finalization of the boundary have been taking place under the Special Representatives framework.

5.) It is essential that all parties concerned display utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings not to change the status quo unilaterally. It is also important that the consensus reached between India and China through the Special Representatives process is scrupulously respected by both sides.

6.) India has consistently taken a positive approach to the settlement of its own boundary with China, along with the associated issue of the tri-junctions.

7.) India cherishes peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. It has not come easily. Both sides have worked hard to establish institutional framework to discuss all issues to ensure peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. India is committed to working with China to find peaceful resolution of all issues in the border areas through dialogue.”

Since then, in face of provocative war-mongering statements from various Chinese Government propaganda arms, the Government of Bharat has maintained a quiet, steely resolve and the Indian Army has pitched tents in the Doklam area, showing it has no intention of backing down in the face of Chinese bullying.

At a time when the Government is dealing effectively with a tricky situation – standing up to Chinese bullying without resorting to fool-hardy bravado – it does not behoove a ‘senior’ (at least in years Rahul Gandhi is 46 years old) leader to make such irresponsible statements and secretively dabble on the sidelines with an enemy state.

It must be noted that Chinese Ambassador and other Chinese officials had met Rahul Gandhi back in Oct 2016 as well – that meeting was attended by Rahul’s sister, Priyanka Vadra, too although she holds no official position in the Congress party.

Oct 19, 2016 meeting between Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui and India National Congress(INC) Vice President Rahul Gandhi, source: http://in.chineseembassy.org/eng/gdxw/t1417652.htm

Rahul Gandhi also appears to be unaware of the casual handling of a similar Chinese incursion into  Ladakh’s Depsang valley  in 2013 by UPA’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid who had called the standoff as “acne” which “can be addressed by simply applying an ointment”.

Some twitter users did not take too kindly to this latest round of shenanigans by the Nehru-Gandhi scion –

Addendum

1:48 PM on 10 July, 2017:

Turns out the Chinese embassy website in Bharat had acknowledged a meeting on 8th of July between the Chinese Ambassador and Rahul Gandhi. But that press release has now been taken down – was it done after the denial from Rahul Gandhi’s office that such a meeting took place?) An alert twitter user has taken a screenshot of the now-deleted press release on the Chinese government site –

Why are Rahul Gandhi and Chinese embassy now denying that a meeting took place, when from all accounts it appears that it did? After the ‘saffron terror’ bogey invented by UPA minister Chidambaram to defame Congress’ political opponents, and absolve the Pakistani jihadi terror machine in the bargain, what new low is Congress sinking to now?

(Featured image : Oct 19, 2016 meeting between Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui and India National Congress(INC) Vice President Rahul Gandhi, source: http://in.chineseembassy.org/eng/gdxw/t1417652.htm)


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