New Delhi: India has sent 15 tonnes of medical supplies to China, who is reeling under the Coronavirus epidemic. C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the Indian Airforce reached the Wuhan City with these medical supplies. The same aircraft will be airlifting the 80 Indians as well as 40 people from the neighbouring countries, stranded there. China delayed permitting the Indian Airforce aircraft to land in China. Finally, three days ago, India expressed strong displeasure and decided to stop the export of medical supplies. The decision taken by India, at a time when China desperately needs supplies, was to reprimand China. The permission issued by the Chinese authorities, within hours of this Indian decision, for the Indian Airforce aircraft to land in China, to airlift Indians, becomes significant.
The Indian government has already repatriated 600 Indian citizens and 7 Maldives citizens from Wuhan, sending a special Air India aircraft. These were mostly students pursuing education in China. But a few Indians could not be repatriated in these two campaigns. The Indian government had planned to undertake a campaign to release them. India had expressed willingness to airlift citizens of the neighbouring countries along with the Indians.
India had announced that it would be sending medical supplies to China. India had said that it was ready to help China in all the possible ways in this time of crisis. Chinese President Xi Jinping had thanked the Indian Prime Minister for the gesture. India had decided to supply medical materials to China. India also lifted the export ban on masks, Gloves and other items necessary for fighting the epidemic.
But China was continuously avoiding to permit the military aircraft, carrying this load, to land in China. The Indian government had decided to airlift the stranded Indians and citizens of the neighbouring countries in this same aircraft, carrying the load of medical supplies. But China did not give the necessary permission. Denying permission for the Indian aircraft while the aircraft from other countries were being allowed, raised suspicion on the Chinese stand.
Three days ago, the Indian government expressed displeasure over the issue. Ravish Kumar, the spokesman of the Indian foreign ministry, said that the medical aid being sent to China is a goodwill gift from billions of Indians and China should decide to send the Indians back in the same aircraft. India also announced the decision to stop exports of medical supplies. Finally, within a few hours of the announcement, China permitted the Indian Airforce aircraft to land in China. The Indian Airforce C-17 aircraft left with the supplies on Wednesday.