Beijing: After a long wait, Beijing today said the work on the return of Indian students has begun and what needs to be done now is for the Indian side to submit a name list of students who have the need to return to China.
“China understands that the number of Indian students is so large that it takes some time for the Indian side to collect the information. All in all, China has been prepared for the return of some Indian students,” Chinee foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told journalists here today.
Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said yesterday that during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the IndianExternal Affairs Minister had himself mentioned that India had taken up the issue of Indian students with Yi. Bagchi said India had requested China to look at the situation and the difficulties that students in India were facing. He, though, said, “but I, unfortunately, do not have or have not heard any update since then on this issue. This is an issue that we are focused on. But I don’t have any update to share that is in terms of I haven’t heard anything from the Chinese side on this”.
On China’s decision to allow students from Sri Lanka and Pakistan to go back to China to continue their studies, Bagchi said he had seen some reports but I don’t want to speculate here, that some students are going back – “We are concerned about students in India and on that, we don’t have any movement yet on that. So if the Chinese are looking at options and how they can get students in, I sincerely hope that Indian students would also benefit from that mechanisms.”
Lijian said today that China attaches high importance to Indian students’ concern for returning to China to resume their studies, and has shared with the Indian side the procedure and experience of the return of students from other countries. He, however, stressed that the current COVID situation remains complex and severe. “The arrangement for the return of foreign students to China needs to be made in a coordinated manner in light of the changing international epidemic situation and the characteristics of the students’ majors. This principle applies equally to all foreign students,” he said.
Lijian said he had no idea about the specific arrangement at the moment with regard to the timeline when China will be ready to open up but “we will strive to provide convenience to the students through existing channels including our embassy”. He though added: “We attach high importance to the issue of foreign students’ return to China for their studies, including Indian students. These international students are envoys for friendly exchanges between China and their home countries. After completing their studies in China, they may return home and work as journalists or diplomats, even ambassadors to China. They represent the future of our relations.”
He said China always attaches great importance to and fully understands these students’ ardent wish to resume their studies in China. “We noted that some are on government scholarship. The Chinese government has provided financial support to them in the hope that once they complete their studies, they will act as a bridge of friendship between their countries and China and contribute to the development of bilateral ties.”
– global bihari bureau