Gandhi invited to China again
Delhi, June 13 (IANS) The Chinese leadership is planning to
celebrate the 20th anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv
Gandhi's visit to Beijing by inviting his son Rahul Gandhi,
general secretary of the ruling Congress party, to visit China
for the commemorative event.
late prime minister had gone to China Dec 19-23, 1988 at the
invitation of the then Chinese premier Li Peng. His widow
Sonia Gandhi, who is now the Congress president and chairperson
of the ruling United progressive Alliance (UPA), had also
visit is widely seen as having set the stage for the gradual
rapprochement in Sino-Indian ties that has resulted in regular
high-level bilateral visits.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had visited China last year
to strengthen bilateral ties, particularly between the Communist
Party of China (CPC) and the Congress party. The invitation
to Rahul Gandhi to lead a Congress delegation to China has
been extended by the CPC.
Yan, China's ambassador to India, confirmed that an invitation
was extended to Rahul Gandhi.
"Our relations with the Congress are very old and we
want to maintain good and strong ties with the party,"
Zhang told IANS.
number of seminars, conferences and other meetings about the
growing Sino-Indian ties and how the two sides can take them
forward will be the main focus for the 20th anniversary celebrations.
the programme was still in the process of being finalised,
the envoy said.
Rajiv Gandhi's visit to China in 1988 was a landmark in Sino-Indian
ties," Alka Acharya of the Centre for East Asian Studies
in the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, told IANS.
in terms of bilateral relations and in the context of a larger
strategic perspective it was an extremely important visit
as it helped to push forward the bilateral relations between
India and China," she said.