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SOURCE: ZEE NEWS

The 23 Indian sailors who are stuck in China are set to return on January 14. The crew aboard the cargo ship MV Jag Anand were stuck in China after anchorage in Chinese waters as they were not allowed to unload their cargo.

Confiming the news Union Minister of ports, shipping and waterways Mansukh Mandaviya informed of the development. In a series of tweets he said: “Our seafarers stuck in China are coming to India. Ship MV Jag Anand, having 23 Indian crew, stuck in China is set to SAIL toward Chiba, Japan, to carry out crew change, will reach India on 14th January.”

He said this could be made possible only due to the strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In another tweet he acknowledged the help by Great Eastern Shipping Company, saying, “I deeply appreciate the humanitarian approach of Great Eastern Shipping Company the towards the seafarers and standing by them in this crucial time!”

Earlier, the External Affairs Ministry in a statement said that two cargo vessels with a total of 39 Indians on board have been on anchorage in Chinese waters as they were not allowed to unload their cargo.

The bulk cargo vessel MV Jag Anand is on anchorage near Jingtang port in Hebei province of China since June 13 and with 23 Indian sailors on board. While another vessel, MV Anastasia with 16 Indian crew members, is on anchorage near Caofeidian port in China since September 20, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing.

Meanwhile, China has blamed the freight forwarder of Jag Anand ship for the impasse, saying he is not letting the ship to leave the port. In media briefing last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, “we stated repeatedly that China has clear stipulations on quarantine measures”.

“As far as I understand, China allows the crew change while meeting certain quarantine conditions. But this Jingtang port is not in the list for such crew changes,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.

He also cleared that there is no ‘link’ between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India and Australia.