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Indian envoy to China wasn't summoned at 2 am
April 12, 2008 16:08 IST
The Chinese foreign ministry had not called India's envoy in Beijing [Images], Nirupama Rao, to the foreign office reportedly in the middle of the night, top diplomatic sources said in New Delhi on Saturday.
Reports last month said Rao was summoned by the Chinese foreign ministry at 0200 hours to lodge a protest against Tibetan demonstrators breaking into the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.
Irked by the incident, the Indian government had reportedly cancelled a scheduled visit to China by Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath.
Playing down the entire incident, the sources said Rao was called by the Chinese foreign ministry at 2100 hours. However, as she was busy with other engagements, she went to the ministry at 2300 hours.
Asked why she was called to the Chinese foreign office, sources said seven Chinese embassies all over the world, including India, were hit by Tibetan demonstrators the same day. That made the Chinese worried.
"Any State would get worried. They panicked and called her and said please do something. It is a normal reaction. The important thing is not the time but what was told to her," sources added.
Asked why the government did not come out with a clarification when the incident was reported in the media, sources said the conversation between the Indian envoy and the Chinese foreign ministry was 'privileged'.
"It is a privileged conversation. We can't go public about it," they added.