The Ministry of External Affairs' reaction to remarks by Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, stating that "some Indian friends suggested that China, India and Pakistan may have some kind of trilateral cooperation under the SCO", seems to have cautioned the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi as the phrase 'some Indian friends' has been deleted from the speech published online.
Speaking at a day-long seminar organised by the Embassy of China in the national capital, Zhaohui had said that "some Indian friends" had suggested trilateral cooperation comprising India, China and Pakistan under the aegis of the SCO, which was a "very constructive idea".
"Security cooperation is one of the three pillars of the SCO. Some Indian friends suggested that China, India and Pakistan may have some kind of trilateral cooperation under the SCO," he said in his keynote address on 'Beyond Wuhan: How Far and Fast can China-India Relations Go' at an event organised by the Chinese Embassy here.
In response to queries on the comments made by the Ambassador, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India had not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government. "We have seen reports on comments made by the Chinese Ambassador in this matter. We have not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government. We consider the statement as the personal opinion of the Ambassador. Matters related to India-Pakistan relations are purely bilateral in nature and have no scope for involvement of any third country," he said.
In the online version of the speech uploaded on the embassy's website, the phrase 'some India friends suggested' has been replaced with 'we hope'. The new text reads: "We hope that in the future China-India-Pakistan Leaders Meeting could be held under the SCO framework."
Incidentally, this is not the first time Chinese Ambassador's remarks have been expunged. Last year, Luo Zhaohui's statement that China could rename the China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC) as Beijing seeks to secure a high-level Indian participation for Beijing’s One Belt One Road conference was deleted from the online speech.