China’s Xi Jinping says he is ‘shocked’ by Gujarat bridge collapse, expresses grief | World News - Hindustan Times
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China’s Xi Jinping says he is ‘shocked’ by Gujarat bridge collapse, expresses grief

Nov 01, 2022 07:17 PM IST

Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, Wang Yi, sent a message of condolence to his Indian counterpart, external affairs minister, S Jaishankar

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to Indian President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday over a deadly bridge collapse over the Machchhu river in the Morbi district of Gujarat that has so far killed 135 people, official media reported.

Rescuers on boats search in the Machchu river next to a cable bridge that collapsed on Sunday in Morbi town of western state Gujarat, India, on Tuesday. (AP)
Rescuers on boats search in the Machchu river next to a cable bridge that collapsed on Sunday in Morbi town of western state Gujarat, India, on Tuesday. (AP)

In his message, Xi said he was “shocked” to learn of the deadly collapse, China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said in a report.

“On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, I would like to express our deep condolences to the victims and extend our sincere sympathy to their families and the injured,” Xi was quoted as saying in the Xinhua report.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also sent a message of condolence to Modi over the tragedy, the report said. The details of what he told Modi wasn’t shared by Chinese official media.

Separately, Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, Wang Yi, sent a message of condolence to his Indian counterpart, external affairs minister, S Jaishankar.

“Wang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, extended deep condolences over the deaths and sincere sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured,” a separate report by Xinhua said.

The news of the accident also trended on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo on Monday with many Chinese netizens expressing their sympathy for the victims. One news report on the incident was read over 96 million times.

Responding to a question on the incident at a ministry briefing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, said that they were aware of the incident. “We have taken note of what happened. We mourn for the loss of lives and extend sympathies to the bereaved families and those who were injured in the accident,” he had said.

Many leaders from around the world including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nepal’s Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, US President, Joe Biden have extended their condolences to their counterparts in India on the incident.

Xi had sent a message of condolence to Modi in April, 2021, at the peak of the Covd-19 pandemic in India, offering to strengthen anti-Covid cooperation and assistance.

Bilateral ties between India and China have been at their worst in decades since June, 2020 when border troops from both countries clashed at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh. Despite disengagement from most friction points, heavy deployment of armed forces continues on both sides of the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border between the two countries.

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