India has cancelled all 70 events, of which some were to be held in China, scheduled to mark 70 years of establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations. This was done after China cancelled the release of commemorative stamp to mark the occasion. Instead, India has now reoriented itself towards furthering its ties with Taiwan, a bitter rival of China.
The decision on organising these events had apparently been planned at the level of top leadership of the two countries. It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Chinese President Li Xinping in Chennai as also Ahmedabad. However, it seems now that the Galwan incident in June 2020 in which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred have led to the downturn in relationship between Beijing and Delhi.
According to Director General of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), there will not be any events with China, some of which were to be organised in China. China’s State Post Bureau had cancelled the joint release of postal stamps, according to the state run CGTN-TV. The Bureau had not announced any date as apparently no date had been finalised by the two sides.
Beijing had blamed India for the cancellation of the joint release of postage stamps but the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said this was “factually wrong”. A spokesman said that joint release of stamps was indeed an agreed item but no date/s had been decided.
It was in November 2019 that the two sides had agreed to organising 70 events jointly in the year 2020 to showcase the establishment of diplomatic ties between them. Several cultural, religious and trade promotion activities had been planned with mutual agreement. In fact, some joint military exercises had also been planned as part of joint celebrations.
According to MEA, the two sides were engaged in discussions to find a mutually agreeable solution for disengagement along the Line of Control (LAC) in Ladakh. The two sides are presently engaged in adopting confrontational postures against each other in the area.