New Delhi: After initially denying and calling it “fake news”, the Congress on Monday admitted that party vice president Rahul Gandhi did meet Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui last week.
Even Rahul Gandhi later admitted that he met Luo amid the India-China border stand-off and defended it by saying it was his job to be informed of critical issues.
However, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala stayed mum on the content of the discussions that took place between Rahul Gandhi and Luo Zhaohui.
When asked whether Rahul Gandhi had raised the issue of China’s violation of the understanding reached between the two countries’ Special Representatives (SRs) in 2012 on addressing tri-junctions in consultation with third countries, there was no categorical reply
Senior Congress leader and former union minister of state for external affairs Anand Sharma said, “When such an exchange of views happen, all such issues come up. Rahul Gandhi is as concerned about the violations at the tri-junction near the Bhutanese border as anyone else.”
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi’s office had tweeted about the meetings, but there was no clarity on whether he had raised India’s concerns with the Chinese Ambassador.
“It is my job to be informed on critical issues. I met the Chinese Ambassador, Ex-NSA, Congress leaders from NE & the Bhutanese Ambassador” the Office of RG tweeted.
It is believed that former National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon met Rahul Gandhi privately recently. Menon is considered an authority on China and was India’s Ambassador in Beijing from 2003 to 2006.
Menon, who was an integral part of the border talks with China, was quoted by an English news website, as saying on the recent tension that, “The incident is serious because this is an attempt by China to change the status quo”.
Did Rahul Gandhi share these same views when he met the Chinese envoy?
Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “Instead of deflecting, on what Rahul Gandhi has raised with the envoy, we must know what PM Modi has raised with Chinese Premier in Hamburg. He walked all the way to meet him in Hamburg.”
Last week, around the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg, Rahul Gandhi had questioned the “silence” of the Prime Minister on the border stand-off.