Chinese consul general in Kolkata, Zha Liyou, attended Durga Puja celebrations in the auditorium of the Indian embassy in Beijing on Saturday.
This is the first time a senior Chinese official has attended an Indian festival celebration in Beijing.
Zha and his wife, who are visiting Beijing, were received by Indian ambassador Vikram Misri and deputy chief of mission Acquino Vimal during the event.
The visit came after the informal summit in Chennai between PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping to enhance ties between the two countries. Beijing’s higher authorities appeared to have encouraged Zha’s visit to the Durga Puja event although China is officially an atheist country.
Zha mingled with several Indians and discussed his plans for enhancing the people-to-people relationship. His office has instituted an award for the best Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata, and winners will be brought to Yunnan in China’s Kunming province for a visit. Kolkata and Yunnan have been declared sister cities by the two governments.
Misri suggested that Zha can help Indian officials to identify good Chinese cooks who will be employed in restaurants serving authentic Chinese food at various places in India. Earlier, the Chinese foreign ministry website published a photo of Zha visiting two local clubs engaged in preparation of Durga Puja in Kolkata last August.
Source: Times of India