Chinese Def Minister wished to give cash gift to military band
New Delhi: After giving an unusual gift of Rs one lakh cash to two Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots, Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie planned to repeat such an action with regard to a military band playing at a banquet hosted by Defence Minister A K Antony.
But his plan could not be executed as the Indian side dissuaded him from doing so saying there was no such practice, sources told a news agency here.
The development took place on the evening of September 4 when Gen Liang was at Air Force's Akash Officers' Mess near India Gate here and an IAF band was playing both Hindi and Chinese songs which was appreciated by the Chinese side, they said.
When the banquet was getting over, the band in-charge was asked to be prepared as the Chinese Defence Minister wanted to give them some gift as token of his appreciation, sources said.
However, fresh from the experience of giving money to the two IAF pilots on September 3, the Indian side apprehended that the gift would be in cash and dissuaded the Chinese side from giving it saying there was no such practice, they said.
At the end of the function, the IAF band was not presented with any gift by the Chinese side, sources said.
While coming to Delhi from Mumbai, the Chinese Defence Minister presented two envelopes carrying Rs 50,000 each to the two IAF pilots belonging to the communication squadron of the force.
After finding the unusual cash gifts in the envelopes, the two IAF pilots reported the matter to their superiors and deposited the money in the Government depository.
Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry is not keen on taking up the issue with the Chinese side but feels that giving such gifts was not in tune with Indian traditions.
The Defence Ministry has also written a letter to the MEA in this regard but not recommended any action or follow-up on the issue.