Beijing: China said on Friday that there was no “link” between the situation of the Indian crew on two ships stranded in Chinese ports and its strained relations with India and Australia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in New Delhi on Thursday that two merchant ships with a total of 39 Indians aboard were anchored in Chinese waters as they were not allowed to unload their cargo although some other ships managed to do so.
“There is a significant amount of stress on the crew members due to this unprecedented situation,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava.
Srivastava said the bulk cargo ship MV Jag Anand has been at anchor near Jingtang Port in China’s Hebei Province since June 13 and has 23 Indian sailors.
Another ship, the MV Anastasia with 16 Indian citizens as crew, has been at anchor near the port of Caofeidian in China since September 20, awaiting the unloading of its cargo, it said at a news conference.
“Our embassy in Beijing has been in constant contact with provincial and central government authorities in China, requesting that the ships could dock and / or that the crew could be changed,” he said.
Asked about India’s concern about the Indian crew members of the ships and whether China’s decision on this issue is related to the current situation between India, China and Australia, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday. a media briefing “we have repeatedly stated that China has clear agreements on quarantine measures”.
“In this regard, China remained in close communication with the Indian side and responded to their requests, as well as providing them with the necessary assistance,” he said.
“As far as I know, China allows crew changes while complying with certain quarantine conditions. But this Jingtang port is not on the list for such crew changes,” he said.
Wang, however, did not refer to the 16 crew members of the Caofeidian port.
“For more details, you can refer to the relevant and local authorities,” he said.
“As for whether this has anything to do with bilateral relations, I don’t see any connection,” he added.
Relations between India and China were under stress from the current military stalemate in eastern Ladakh.
Ties between Australia and China have collapsed in recent months after Canberra barred Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies from its national 5G network over national security concerns.
China also suffered from Canberra’s push for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus in April. Reports from Australia say China has limited a number of Australian exports, including coal.
Last month China blamed Jag Anand’s ship forwarder for the impasse, saying he will not let the ship go.
This story was published by a branch agency with no text changes.