India and China on Saturday decided to establish “sister-state relations” between Tamil Nadu and Fujian Province.
This followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming up with a number of ideas on the connect between the Indian State and the Chinese Province during his discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the second India-China “informal summit,” now called “Chennai Connect.”
The two leaders also agreed to explore the possibility of establishing an academy to study links between Mamallapuram and the Fujian Province on the lines of the experience between Ajanta and Dunhuang, besides conducting research on maritime links.
Asked about the agreement made by the two countries in 2015 to have a Chinese consulate opened in Chennai, External Affairs Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters that the specifics were being worked out.
The official said the Prime Minister and the President were all praise for the arrangements made by the Tamil Nadu government.
Pointing out that Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi emphasised the importance of building public opinion in broadbasing the relationship, Mr. Gokhale said a number of events had been planned to deepen the exchange between the people of the two countries. He said 2020 would be designated as Year of India-China Cultural and People to People Exchanges. To mark the completion of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations, 70 activities would be held including a conference on a ship voyage that would trace the historical connect between the two civilisations. They would be equally divided between the two countries and the plan is to have at least one event every week in either India or China, Mr. Gokhale said.
A release of the Ministry of External Affairs said Mr. Modi had accepted the invitation to take part in the next informal summit to be held in China.