NEW DELHI :
India and China will jointly hold 70 events to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Indian foreign ministry said Friday, following an agreement reached between Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at their informal summit in Mamallapuram near Chennai last month.
“These activities will demonstrate the historic connect between the two civilizations as well as their growing bilateral relationship over the years," the foreign ministry statement said. “They will further deepen people-to-people exchanges between the two countries at all levels, including between their respective legislatures, businesses, academics, cultural and youth organisations as well as the defence forces."
Taking off from the Mamallapuram summit – where Modi also showcased Tamil Nadu state’s links with China’s south eastern coastal Fujian province – the statement said “the two sides will also engage in cooperative projects in studying ancient maritime links between India and China." This will be through the establishment of sister-state relations between Tamil Nadu and Fujian Province, exploring the possibility of establishing an academy to study links between Tamil Nadu and Fujian and conducting research on maritime links between the two countries.
Modi and Xi met for their second informal summit at Mamallapuram, a coastal town near Chennai, on 11-12 October and discussed a range of bilateral issues. The first informal summit was held in Wuhan in China in April last year.
Briefing reporters at the end of the Mamallapuram summit, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale had said that the two countries had agreed that they would host 35 events each. “In effect it means that there will be at least one event each week in anniversary year, either in India or in China and both leaders agreed that this, sort of, intensive propagation of the public side of relationship should in fact lead to public opinion on both sides being engaged in the relationship."
Among the 70 activities planned are parliamentary exchanges, opening ceremonies and receptions celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China and business seminars and trade promotion for products, including agricultural products, in each other’s country. The Chinese side will hold an India-China Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum in India, the Indian statement said. Fashion shows showcasing Indian creations, bilateral sports competitions and student exchange programs. The Indian side is to send naval ships to China besides a mid level armed forces delegation. A delegation of Indian CEOs will also visit, the Indian statement said. All these activities will be organised during 2020-2021, the statement added.