Indians stranded in Chinese waters: MEA says in touch with China

at 9:46 pm

New Delhi (NVI): India today said that its embassy in Beijing is in constant touch with the Chinese authorities to request for allowing the docking of stranded Indian ships and/or change of crew.

The Ministry of External Affairs said that Chinese authorities, however, have conveyed that on account of various COVID-19 related restrictions imposed by the local authorities, crew change is not being permitted from these ports.

“We also understand however that some other ships, which arrived after Indian ship had arrived, have actually managed to discharge cargo and leave. The reasons for this are not clear,” MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava said while responding to a query on the issue.

Pertinent to mention here that two Indian ships are stranded in Chinese waters with around 39 Indian nationals stranded on them.

The bulk cargo vessel MV Jag Anand is on anchorage near Jingtang port in Hebei province of China since June 13, 2020 with 23 Indian nationals as crew on board. Another vessel, MV Anastasia, which has 16 Indian nationals as its crew, is on anchorage near Caofeidian port in China since September 20, 2020, waiting for discharge of its cargo.

“There is a considerable amount of stress on the crew members on account of this unprecedented situation,” the MEA spokesman said.

“Our Embassy in Beijing has been in constant touch with provincial and central government authorities in China, requesting that the ships be allowed to dock and/or the crew be allowed to be changed,” he added.

“We have also taken note of Chinese MFA statement yesterday about provision of necessary facilitation and assistance. Our Mission in Beijing continues to remain in touch with the Chinese authorities to seek their facilitation and assistance, which can lead to an early resolution of the issue and help ameliorate the situation of the crew,” Srivastava said.

Notably, the Indian vessels are stranded in the Chinese waters amid simmering tensions between India and China over an escalating boder row in Easten Ladakh along LAC.