At Jaishankar’s Beijing meet, China proposes expansion of Mansarovar yatra
India and China on Monday announced a bouquet of new initiatives including expanding facilities for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims as the two neighbours opened new areas of convergence amid old and new tensions in ties.
The announcements about the new cultural initiatives were made by external affairs minister S Jaishankar and state councilor and foreign minister, Wang Yi at the end of day-long talks even as the Indian minister made it clear that the future of bilateral ties will “…obviously depend on mutual sensitivity to each other’s core concerns”.
“Some suggestions were made by the Chinese side to expand Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and we are deeply appreciative of these initiatives,” he said.
“In the coming months, we would be organising several other events in areas like museum management, education, think tank forum and cooperation in the areas of films and broadcasting, reflecting the wide range of our cultural and people-to-people exchanges,” he added.
“As a result, we have also agreed to organise 100 activities to further strengthen our people-to-people ties. We will also be jointly inaugurating a film week later this evening marking the commencement of these activities,” Jaishankar said.
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“The two countries agree that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas is essential for smooth development of our relations. For this, the two armed forces have enhanced communication and are implementing various confidence building measures,” he added.
On his part, Wang said Beijing and the Tibet government were working to improve facilities for Kailash pilgrims.
“The Chinese government and local government, in particular, have been working to provide facilities and that pathway has increasingly become a pathway of friendship. And today officials proposed that we can co-produce a documentary on pilgrims so that we can tell a good story of our traditional friendship,” Wang said.
“Another example is that to carry forward Dr. (Dwarkanath) Kotnis and advocate the internationalism that he represents. China-India have put together a joint medical team on a regular basis. The medical workers will go to remote areas in both countries to provide treatment of the local people and promote their fitness and wellness. It is our hope that the agencies over here can follow on that intuitive and help us spread our story of friendship today,” he added.
“In addition, the youth department proposed that we will hold a youth entrepreneurial forum. That is very important and I hope you will pay more attention to that because that will mean a story that is future-oriented,” Wang added.
The two countries signed four memorandums of understandings on cooperating in the sectors of diplomacy, sports, cultural and traditional medicine.