Gadkari in China on ‘first ever goodwill visit’By IANS
Thursday, January 20, 2011
BEIJING - Nitin Gadkari, the first BJP president to visit China, said Wednesday that New Delhi’s relationship with Beijing “has evolved, has grown, has matured, and it has become truly multifaceted” over the years.
Gadkari, who arrived here Wednesday on a five-day visit, said he was looking forward to meetings with senior leaders of the Chinese Communist Party for talks on a wide-range of issues.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president is accompanied by his wife Kanchan and a delegation of senior party leaders.
It is a “first ever goodwill visit” by a BJP president to China, aimed at promoting party-to-party contacts.
Gadkari said: “I am glad to be in China to meet the Chinese leaders. China is our largest neighbour. We share a 3,500 km long boundary with China. We also enjoy civilisational links which date back to over 1,600 years.”
“Over the years our relationship has evolved, has grown, has matured, and it has become truly multifaceted. There is consensus across the political spectrum in India for cooperative and cordial ties with the People’s Republic of China,” he said in a statement.
Recalling the “historic” visit of then BJP prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to China in 2003, he said it was during that “productive” visit that the two countries agreed to have Special Representatives of the prime ministers of India and China on the boundary issue.
The BJP delegation will also visit Shanghai and Guangzhou.
While in Beijing, Gadkari is scheduled to meet Li Changchun, one of the nine senior leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Gadkari will also have talks with CPC’s head of the international department, Ai Ping. The BJP delegation will have an interaction with the leaders of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
In Guangzhou, the BJP delegation will visit the local neighbourhood community to study the party building at the grass root level.
Gadkari’s delegation includes party general secretaries Thawarchand Gehlot and Vijay Goel, joint organising secretary Saudan Singh, secretaries Laxman Kova and Arti Mehra, his political associate Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and joint convener of the party’s foreign affairs cell, Vijay Jolly.