The Indian embassy in Beijing has asked for approval for crew change of two ships stranded in Chinese waters, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.
Speaking at a virtual briefing, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, said, "Our Ambassador has again personally taken up this issue with the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and requested early approval for crew change for Indian crew members aboard two ships MV Jag Anand and MV Anastasia. The Ministry is also in regular contact on this issue with the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi."
He further said that in view of China's strict COVID-19 pandemic control and prevention measures as well as various travel restrictions in place, the Chinese authorities have outlined detailed steps to ensure the smooth movement of a new crew to China to effect crew change.
"With regard to the request of exploring alternative modes of crew change at sea, this possibility has also been taken up by Chinese authorities, who have indicated that the details for this option are being worked out. We are awaiting these details from Chinese authorities," the MEA spokesperson added.
Srivastava stated that the ministry will continue to remain in touch with various relevant Chinese authorities as well as shipping compes to ensure that the humtarian needs of the crew are taken care of and that crew changes can be effected at the earliest.
Two cargo vessels with a total of 39 Indians on board have been on anchorage in Chinese waters as they were prohibited to unload their cargo.
( With inputs from ANI )
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