A three-member delegation from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), currently on a visit to China, is reportedly visiting Tibet. The delegation led by CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury arrived in Beijing on July 22, 2003 according to The Hindu newspaper.

“The team will travel to Tibet after holding talks with senior leaders of the governing Communist Party of China (CPC),” The Hindu reported.

During their eight-day trip the delegation will meet Wu Guanzheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection “for a detailed exchange of views on the current international situation and the Sino-Indian relationship.”

The other members of the delegation are CPI(M)’s secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir unit, Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami, and Central Committee member Hari Singh Kang.

CPI(M) is a breakaway group of the Communist Party of India and was formed in 1964. It is the ruling party in quite a few states in India.

The Party supports Chinese position on the issue of Tibet. In 2001 CPI(M) organized a function to observe the “50th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet” in New Delhi. Yechury addressed the gathering then and “pointed out that the Tibetans had improved their standard of living and that the life in Tibet was much easier than it could be otherwise because of the difficult physical conditions there,” according to the CPI(M) weekly newspaper People’s Democracy of June 10, 2001. In 1999 it came out with a statement criticizing Indian Minister George Fernandes for supporting the Tibetan people.

“He has reiterated his support to a ‘Free Tibet’ in a recent interview. Is this the stand of the Vajpayee Government? Can the Defence Ministry carry on with his own agenda which is detrimental to the country’s interests?” it asked in a statement.

The statement said the Vajpayee Government would have to “face the consequences for this serious state of affairs.”

There is no mention of the Indian Communist Delegation’s visit in the Chinese media.