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Atal Bihari Vajpayee an ‘outstanding Indian statesman’, says China

In a statement, the ministry of foreign affairs said the Indian leader was an “outstanding Indian statesman and had made outstanding contributions to the development of Sino-Indian relations”.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2018 00:00 IST
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Atal Bihari Vajpayee,China India ties,Atal Bihari Vajpayee death
This May 11, 1998, file photo of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as he announces India's nuclear test, in New Delhi.(PTI File Photo)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has sent a condolence message to Indian leaders on the death of former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away in New Delhi on Thursday.

In an emailed statement to the Hindustan Times, the ministry of foreign affairs said the Indian leader was an “outstanding Indian statesman and had made outstanding contributions to the development of Sino-Indian relations”.

“China expresses its deep condolences on his death and sincere condolences to the Indian government and people and the relatives of Mr Vajpayee.”

“Premier Li Keqiang has sent a condolence message to the leaders of India,” the statement said.

“The death of Vajpayee is a great loss to China-India relations. Vajpayee played an important role in the normalization of Sino-Indian ties, and his visit to China in 1979 was a landmark event in this regard,” Lin Minwang, a professor of international relations at Shanghai-based Fudan University, told CGTN Digital.

“Similarly, his visit in 2003 after he became prime minister injected new impetus to Sino-Indian relations after the Cold War,” Lin said.

“The sincerity and political drive Vajpayee had shown in his diplomacy towards China are admirable. The development of Sino-Indian relations in the new era gives us the reason to adhere to the path of peace and development initiated by Prime Minister Vajpayee,” he said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 18:57 IST