India, China to mark 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties

A slew of cultural exchanges planned; naval ship to dock at Chinese ports.

New Delhi: India will send a “mid-level tri-service delegation of the Indian armed forces” to China, with naval ships too set to dock at Chinese ports and the two nations will also host a series of cultural exchanges relating to Buddhism and the visit of ancient Chinese Buddhist traveller Hiuen Tsang (known as Xuanzang in China).

On Friday, a total of 70 measures to be taken jointly by the two Asian giants were announced to celebrate the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. These will be undertaken in 2020-21.

Reiterating what was announced at the end of the two-day informal summit last month between Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, at Mamallapuram near Chennai, the MEA also said the two countries would engage “in cooperative projects in studying ancient maritime links between India and China through the establishment of sister-state relations between Tamil Nadu and Fujian province, and exploring the possibility of establishing an academy to study links between Tamil Nadu and the Fujian province.”

“The Indian side will send its naval ships to visit China. A mid-level tri-service delegation of the Indian armed forces will visit China,” the MEA announced on Friday.

The two sides will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the completion of an Indian-style Buddha Hall in the White Horse Temple in Luoyang.

A Chinese Buddhist delegation will visit India and hold prayer activities in Xuanzang Memorial Hall in Nalanda. The Chinese side will invite an Indian Buddhist delegation to attend the celebrations of the Bathing the Buddha Festival in China, and jointly pray for world peace and friendship between our two peoples," the MEA said.

“The Chinese side will hold an international Xuanzang forum in China, advancing Xuanzang-related studies,” it added.

Ancient Chinese Buddhist traveller, Hiuen Tsang (known as Xuanzang in China), visited India in the 7th century AD during the reign of King Harshavardhana in northern India and the Pallava dynasty in southern India.

There will be other cultural exchanges, too, including in the field of martial arts.

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