Kolkata, Nov 19 (IANS) China’s Yunnan province has formally invited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for a visit to foster sister city relations between Kunming and Kolkata, an official said Wednesday.
Kunming is the capital of Yunnan province while Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.
According to Wang Xuefeng, consul general of the Chinese consulate in Kolkata, a Yunnan delegation had three weeks ago formally extended an invitation to Banerjee for a visit to the province.
“The two countries had last year signed an agreement to develop sister city links, including Kolkata and Kunming. The chief minister has been invited to visit according to her convenience,” Xuefeng told reporters at a promotional here for Kunming Tourism.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting in India earlier this year, the two countries inked 16 deals in areas like railways, trade, administration, culture and industrial parks.
The state leaders of both countries designated 2015 as the ‘Visit India Year’ in China and 2016 as the ‘Visit China Year’ in India.
“During these two years, there will be a series of promotions to enhance the two-way communication between the people of these regions.
“Kunming is a popular tourist destination for world travellers but it is not so famous among Indians who mostly visit places like Beijing, Shanghai.
“Since Kolkata is two hours away via flight from Kunming, it offers a range of possibilities,” the official said.
He said a Yunnan delegation will be attending Bengal’s Global Industry Summit in Kolkata in January 2015.