• Short Summary

    A goodwill delegation from China in India on Tuesday (7 March) the first such visit since the border dispute in 1962.

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    A goodwill delegation from China in India on Tuesday (7 March) the first such visit since the border dispute in 1962. It marks a further improvement in relations between the two countries following the exchange of ambassadors 18 months ago.

    SYNOPSIS: The importance of the visit by the delegation is that it re-establishes contacts at a political level, and paves the way for eventual high level talks. The visiting group was led by Mr. Wang Ping-nan, the President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. According to Reuters News Agency, Mr. Wang carried an invitation to the Indian Foreign Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee to visit china. In a statement later a spokesman for the Indian External Affairs Ministry said Mr. Vajpayee had accepted the invitation in principle. The visit, he said, would take place after "due and careful preparation".

    Madame Wang Kuei-hua, Chairman of the Women's Association of Hopei Province, is the deputy leader of the 12-man delegation Among other members are several doctors and a processor of Sanskrit at Peking University. Student from Jawaharlal University were amongst the crowd welcoming the visitors.

    But there were protests too....from Tibetan exiles calling on China to "de-colonialise" their former homeland. The Chinese delegation is to visit Bombay, Banglore, Hyderabad and Calcutta during their stay, for what is already being seen as a major step towards normalising relations between the two countries. Before the deputation left Peking, the Chinese Communist Party Chairman, Hua Kuo-feng said the people of both India and China wanted improved relations, and this could be achieved if serious efforts were made by both sides.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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