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Rediff.com  » News » Sikkim: Chinese army personnel join I-Day celebrations

Sikkim: Chinese army personnel join I-Day celebrations

August 15, 2012 17:05 IST

Giving thrust to bilateral confidence building measures on the Sino-India border, a delegation of Chinese army on Wednesday joined their Indian counterparts in celebrating India's Independence Day at the border post in Nathu La.

Led by Senior Colonel Wang Ji Ping, the Chinese delegation crossed over to the Indian border post at a height of 14,130 feet and participated in the ceremony in which flags of both the nations were hoisted and national anthems sung.

The ceremony was held close to the zero border on the Nathu La pass in Sikkim.

"This action is conducive to peace and tranquility and will maintain the trust between Chinese and Indian people." Chinese delegation leader Wang Ji Ping said.

The flag hosting ceremony was followed by an interaction between Indian and Chinese delegations. Several Chinese officers had also brought their family members and children along for the celebrations.

The interaction, in which the camaraderie was clearly visible, went on for nearly two hours. As the Indian side performed bhangra and sang folk songs to entertain the visitors, the Chinese too participated enthusiastically and danced along with the hosts.

"The annual feature started after the confidence building measures which were put in place in 1993 after the treaty for border peace and tranquility," Brigadier Ravi Jhaldiyal, Commander 63 mountain brigade said.

Jhaldiyal led the Indian delegation in welcoming Chinese officers and their families.

"We have three types of activities here. First is the one which takes place on 15th of May on Chinese side and on 15th September on the Indian side. Along with that if there is any issue on the border then we have special flag meetings," he added.

"Then there are the national days of India and China where we have special meet. The intention is to basically know them and interact with them so that you have some kind of friendship with them," Jhaldiyal said.

He said these interactions and the resulting friendship helped in resolving a lot of issues on the border. "It also sorts out lots of local border issues. Minor issues, before they could escalate, are also sorted out," he said.

The interaction, in which the camaraderie was clearly visible, went on for nearly two hours during which the Indian side performed bhangra and sang folk songs to entertain the visitors. The Chinese on their part participated enthusiastically and danced along with the hosts.

Gifts were also exchanged between the two sides and the army officials said they had chosen artefacts depicting Indian culture as presents for the Chinese.

China would be now be celebrating its national day on October 1 and plans are being made for a similar participation by the Indian side, army officials said.

Anshuman G Dutta in Nathu La, Sikkim
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