Rahul-Chinese envoy meeting has been blown out of proportion: Anand Sharma

| Updated: Jul 11, 2017 04:25 IST

New Delhi [India], July 10 (ANI): Congress leader Anand Sharma on Monday asserted that the meeting between party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Chinese envoy Luo Zhaohui has been blown out of proportion and unnecessarily sensationalised. Speaking to ANI, Sharma said, "This is a non issue. I am surprised how it has been distorted and blown out of proportion since morning. The question is whether there was a meeting or not. We have regular diplomatic relations with China; there are no restrictions or embargo and therefore, the manner in which this issue has been dealt with and sensationalised, it is unwarranted and unnecessary." "The real issue is how the government of India has been engaging with China. The matter of the fact is Prime Minister Narendra Modi did go out of his way to meet President Xi Jinping in Hamburg. This is not something we should be wasting our time on, because it is the right of Ambassador of China to meet with the political leaders. I don't think Rahul Gandhi has ever denied, there was some initial misunderstanding and the air has been cleared soon after that," he added. Earlier in the day, the Congress party was in a soup when the grand old party first denied that Rahul met with the Chinese envoy, but later accepted and revealed that the party vice president met Bhutanese envoy as well. "Various ambassadors and envoys keep meeting the Congress president and the vice-president from time to time on a courtesy basis, particularly those of G5 nations and also of the neighbouring countries - be it the Chinese Ambassador, or the Bhutanese Ambassador or the former national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told ANI. "Rahul Gandhi met all of them. So, nobody should try to sensationalise such normal courtesy calls or term them as events," he added,. Surjewala, in a series of tweets, had said some news channels were running "fake news" on Rahul's alleged meeting with the Chinese Ambassador. The meeting comes amid the stand- off between India and China that has been taking place for the past three weeks over the tri-junction area of Doklam sector near Bhutan. The stand-off emerged after the China's People's Liberation Army construction party attempted to build a road near the Doklam area. Bhutan recognises as Dokalam as its area while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. Doka La is the Indian name for the region. (ANI)