Cargo vessel MV Jag Anand carrying stranded Indian sailors is set to return by 14 January. The ship is sailing towards Chiba, Japan to carry out crew change.
Making the announcement Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Shipping and Minister of State for Chemical & Fertilizers said: “The Seafarers will reach Chiba Port, Japan on 14 January and after following due procedure related to COVID protocols, they will fly back to India.”
This could only happen due to strong leadership of Narendra Modi, Mandaviya added.
On 8 January, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava in his weekly briefing had said that Indian sailors will be rescued soon as the Chinese government has accepted India’s demand with crew change process being worked out.
Two bulk carriers, MV Anastasia and MV Jag Anand, owned by Mumbai-based Great Eastern Shipping Company, transporting Australian coal to China were stuck in Chinese waters since 20 September.
While China said the vessels were stuck at the ports because of quarantine measures it was allowing other ships containing Australian coal to offload and leave the port indicating that the deadlock stemmed from the ongoing stand-off between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
While MV Jag Anand was anchored near Jingtang port in Hebei province since 13 June, Anastasia was anchored near China’s Caofeidian port since 20 September.
China had blamed the shipping companies for not adjusting their plans due to commercial interests with the spokesperson of Chinese Embassy in India Counselor Ji Rong saying, “Chinese authorities have been in close communication with Indian side & provided timely assistance & necessary supplies to Indian sailors. China has never denied any vessel departure. The real cause of the situation is freight forwarder doesn’t want to adjust plans due to commercial interests.”
China had announced a ban on Australia’s $14 billion coal imports escalating the trade war with Canberra and exposing its over-dependence on the world’s second-largest economy forcing PM Scott Morrison to accuse Beijing of violating international trade rules.