Mr. Ma Zhanwu, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kolkata, met with Mr. Rajiv Lochan, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) North Bengal Chapter at Darjeeling, West Bengal, India on 13 April 2017, to exchange views on cooperation between China and the Darjeeling region.
Mr. Lochan said that Darjeeling is famous for its red tea, which has been exported to China in recent years, and in fact "Chai" in Hindi is from "Cha (Tea)" in Chinese. Darjeeling has lots of tourist resources, including the overlook of Kangchengjunga and the snow-capped Himalaya mountains. More and more Chinese tourists are coming. Besides, St. Paul's School and St. Joseph's School are among the best educational institutions in India.
Mr. Lochan also mentioned that Darjeeling was the first place where the early Chinese immigrants settled and given its proximity, it has huge potentials for exchanges with China. His organization as well as his company wish to work with the Chinese Consulate to strengthen the ties, promoting exchanges and cooperation in the related fields between Darjeeling and China. He has been visited many places and held Tea Expos in China. He would like to invite Chinese scholars and tea businessmen to attend the World Tea Heritage Conference to be held in Darjeeling in the coming fall.
Mr. Ma thanked his detailed briefing and said that China and India have a long history of friendly exchanges. The Chinese Consulate General stands ready to work with all Indian friends to promote exchanges and cooperation in such areas as trade and investment, tourism, and education between Darjeeling and China.
Mr. Ma visited Rungneet Tea Garden the next day and saw the old tea bushes introduced from Wuyi Mountain of Fujian Province in China into India about 170 years before.
Consuls Li Suyun, Zhang Jing, Chen Yongliang, and Mr. Dan Robertson, Director of International Tea Cuppers Club (IL, USA), were present.
Mr. Ma also gave an interview to Mr. Viveke Chhetri, journalist with the Darjeeling office of The Telegraph on 13 April 2017.