Two Embraer and an Avro aircraft were sent to Mumbai to fetch the delegation to Delhi for the talks. These aircraft were from the communication squadron of the IAF which is tasked to ferry senior officials and dignitaries including the Indian Prime Minister and the President.
The normal custom is to hand over mementos by the visiting delegation; money is never handed over. IAF officials said when Indian dignitaries travel on these aircraft for foreign trips, they gift ties and other small mementos as a token of appreciation to the aircraft crew.
The money was handed over to pilots as mementos in two packets. Once the pilots opened the packets and realised that money had given they informed the IAF headquarters which in turn has written to Ministry of Defence. The money will be deposited in the Government treasury tomorrow morning. Sources said the money could not be returned to the Chinese Defence Minister due to sensitivities involved in it.
General Guang, who is on a five-day India visit, arrived in Mumbai on Sunday. The Defence Ministry had provided its aircraft for the inland travel of the visiting Minister.
Yesterday, before the beginning of the delegation-level talks, the Chinese Minister had thanked his Indian counterpart A K Antony for the arrangements made by India for him and his entourage.
- China minister gifts Rs 1 lakh to IAF pilots (ibnlive.in.com)
- Indian pilots shocked by Chinese defense minister’s cash gift (wantchinatimes.com)