The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
"Our leadership attaches great importance to state-province level ties, which is called sub-national level relationship," said Zha Liyou, who became the new Chinese Consul to Kolkata this month.
Chinese Consul General to Kolkata Zha Liyou on Sunday said that confidence-building measures between five eastern Indian states, including West Bengal, and Chinese provinces were one of his topmost priorities.
"Our leadership attaches great importance to state-province level ties, which is called sub-national level relationship," said Mr Liyou, who became the new Chinese Consul to Kolkata this month.
He said culture, education, sports, youth, media, academics and film are some of the areas the two sides can work on as part of the state-province relationship.
The Chinese diplomat said, "We need to make Bengal and Yunnan sister states, and Kolkata and Kunming as twin cities to boost ties at various levels."
"The West Bengal capital and Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, can reach consensus on many areas including culture and tourism," he said.
On the upcoming Bengal Global Business Summit, to be held in February, Mr Liyou said, "For many years we have tried to convince the Chinese provincial leaders to come to the summit. A very high-level delegation from Yunnan province would be sent to the summit."
The vice-chairman of the Provincial People's Congress will head the delegation, he told reporters in Kolkata.
Informing reporters that an expo will be held in Yunnan in June, the consul-general said, "I will extend an invitation to the chief ministers from five states."
Stating that Chinese President Xi Jinping had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi four times in 2018, Liyou said, "To put in practice what our president agreed with your prime minister, our foreign minister can tour India at the end of this year."