The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) has reported that Chinese officials and media are now welcome to attend the air show, Aero India 2011, that begins in Bangalore on Wednesday.
A week before the show, top officials in the Indian Defense Ministry said in New Delhi that Chinese officials and media had not been invited to the show on the directions of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). A Chinese journalist had complained on Tuesday at the Defense Ministry briefing on the air show that he and his colleagues had been unable to register for accreditation as the online registration form did not provide China as an option.
The IANS news report from Bangalore says, “India Sunday changed its mind and has now asked Beijing to send a two-member delegation and a media representative to the biennial event.”
“Defense ministry officials said here that in consultation with the external affairs ministry, the invitation was sent to China asking it to send a two-member official delegation and a journalist based in their embassy here to the air show,” said the report, and quoted an unnamed source as saying, “The external affairs ministry has now given its nod to invite the Chinese delegation and their visit is being facilitated.”
The Chinese were invited to the last show in 2009 too, but did not send representation. Pakistan and Iran remain unwelcome to the show.