China, which is hosting a meeting of Foreign Ministers of some South Asian countries to deal with the COVID-19 situation, said on Tuesday that the virtual conference is open to all countries in the region, including India.
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are invited to the virtual Foreign Ministerial level meeting being hosted on Tuesday by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. India, Maldives and Bhutan are conspicuously absent from the meeting.
Asked why India has not been invited to the meeting, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing that “China follows the spirit of openness and inclusiveness”.
“This meeting is open to South Asian countries, including India. We welcome the participation of all countries,” he said. This meeting is part of China’s cooperation with South Asian countries and regional and international cooperation to fight the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
“We follow an open attitude and we are open for the participation of other South Asian countries, Wang said.
About China’s offer of extending support and assistance to India, which is currently experiencing a virulent second wave of coronavirus attack, Wang said, “China has expressed early on its willingness to provide India with support and help”.