In a big boost to Indo-China cultural ties, the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Monday, informed that China has offered to expand the Kailash -Mansarovar yatra, in the second high-level joint talks with his Chinese counterpart- Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the Chinese capital -Beijing. He welcomed the move and said that it was an integral part of India's move to promote cultural people-to-people exchanges between both countries.
"Some suggestions were made by the Chinese side to expand the Kailash -Mansarovar yatra. We are deeply appreciative of this move. The success of this meeting can be gauged as we have concluded four MOU units which promote the cultural exchange aimed at preservation of cultural heritage, organisation of cultural activities and management of ecological heritage sites," he said, addressing a press briefing.
He further elaborated the details of the meeting saying that India and China have agreed to organise 100 activities to strengthen ties.
"In the joint-high level mechanism meeting last year, we had identified ten areas to strengthen our cultural ties through people-to-people exchanges. In our second meeting, foreign minister Wang Yi and I have reviewed the progress made so far and agreed to organise 100 activities to strengthen Indo-China cultural ties," he added.
Jaishankar is currently on a crucial three-day visit to China where he called on Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan who is considered a confidant of President Xi Jinping. He later had a restricted delegation-level talk with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Earlier in the day, the External Affairs Minister had conveyed that India believes it is important to ensure that any bilateral differences should not become disputes, as Beijing said it is "very closely" following the Indo-Pak tensions over Kashmir and its "ramifications" and asked New Delhi to play a "constructive role" for regional peace and stability.
The visit of Jaishankar, the first Indian minister to tour China after the Modi government began its second term, is taking place following India's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divide the state into two Union Territories -Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. His visit was finalised much before India's move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.