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Chinese Army takes part in I-Day celebration in Arunachal

K Anurag in Guwahati | August 15, 2008 19:29 IST

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A 300-strong Chinese delegation including military personnel, their families and civilians from across the border came to an Indian Army [Images] post located at 15,300 feet, atop the Arunachal Himalayas, to celebrate India's 62nd Independence Day in response to an invitation from the Indian Army.

The Chinese delegation, led by Colonel Yan Zi Jing of the People's Liberation Army, was given a ceremonial welcome, saluted the tricolour that was unfurled at Bumla post by Brigadier Ashok Amre.

The delegation was treated to a colourful cultural show that included a high-voltage Bhangra dance by the jawans of the Indian Army, a spectacular folk dance and other performances by a cultural troupe from Manipur.

The celebrations was marked by both sides exchanging gifts. Addressing the occasion, Col Jing of Chinese Army said, "Today another step has been taken towards cementing peace and strengthening cultural ties between the two great neighbours."

"We are honoured to be invited to join the celebrations of anniversary of India's Independence. I wish you border troops all prosperity and hope for a stronger bond between two great armies," Jing said.

Brigadier Arora of Indian Army said, "This occasion today presents another great opportunity to strengthen and further resolve the peace and tranquility along the border. We have made tremendous progress in past years in maintaining the sanctity of the border. Such occasions and interaction between the two armies will help further strengthen the ties between the two countries."

Officials of both the armies also held a brief closed-door meeting before the start of the cultural programme. The  Chinese delegation enjoyed the Indian Army's hospitality to the maximum, feasting on the dishes that were on offer.

The thin air at 15000 feet reverberated with the sound of celebrations. Both Indians and Chinese exchanged gifts, mementoes and currency notes to mark the occasion.

"I am very happy about the way your people and army officials are taking care of us. I am enjoying it very much," said Pan Li, a lady doctor who has served the Chinese Army for four years.

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