If good diplomatic relations begin with friendly media, China and India are sparing no efforts on this front in the wake of a thaw in ties between the countries.
The bonhomie includes a visit of Chinese editors that India had “rescheduled” last November.
The decision was triggered by the Chinese conveying to New Delhi that instructions had been given to the media in China against whipping up negativism in their relationship, as the neighbours celebrated 60 years of diplomatic ties this year, official sources said.
An eight-member editors’ delegation will be in India from January 17 to 23, on an invitation from the ministry of external affairs.
The visit was initially scheduled in November 2008, but was postponed after the diplomatic row over the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunanchal Pradesh.
China lays claim on Arunanchal Pradesh and New Delhi maintains that the state is an integral part of India.
The team members include four from Beijing, two from Shanghai and the chief of the opinion desk at People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China.
The Chinese embassy in New Delhi is also organising a separate trip for the Chinese media to India from January 14 to 18.
According to news agency Xinhua, Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie said on Thursday that China and India should make efforts to lead media and public opinion into an aspiring and positive direction to help create a favorable environment for the development of bilateral ties.
The two countries should do work to boost relations and try to exert a positive impact on public opinion to facilitate a good environment for Sino-Indian relations, Liang told visiting Indian defence secretary Pradeep Kumar during the third round of defence consultations between China and India.