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Consul General Ma Zhanwu Attends Tourism Conference in Visva Bharati University, India

On 23 March 2018, Mr. Ma Zhanwu, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kolkata, attended the inaugural session of the International Interdisciplinary Conference on “Road Map for Development of Eco-tourism in and around Santiniketan and Birbhum”, hosted by Visva Bharati University in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism of Government of India, and the Department of Tourism of Government of West Bengal. Over 200 people were present at the session, including Indian government officials, scholars and experts, local journalists, and teachers and students of the university.

Addressing the session, Consul General Ma said that Santiniketan has both the attractive ecological scenery and the rich cultural resources. In particular, the university and its Cheena Bhavana were founded by the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and are practicing his philosophy on education, human-nature relationship, and so on. Moreover, Santiniketan has ample elements of Indian culture, such as the unique Holi and Durga Puja celebrations. Therefore, eco-tourism in Santiniketan has a bright future and will attract more and more tourists from China.

The Consul General also said his Consulate is ready to work with Visva Bharati University to promote Santiniketan in China, and advance exchanges between people with the local tourist industriy and their counterparts in China. Furthermore, the Chinese Consulate would work with all those present to enhance friendly exchanges and cooperation in the tourist and other fields between China and Eastern India.

Mr. Ma also talked about current China-India relationship, saying that high-level exchanges between the two countries had been increasing since the end of last year, and President Xi Jinping had a very good conversation with Prime Minister Modi on the phone three days before, and both sides stressed the need to further strengthen the bilateral ties and advance their exchanges and cooperation. With the efforts by both sides, China-India relations will continue to see new progress, and accordingly more and more Chinese tourists will come to Santiniketan.

Mr. Ma also interacted with Mr. J. P. Shaw, Regional Director of Indian Ministry of Tourism, Professor Abhijit Sen, Principal of Bhasha Bhavana of Visva Bharati, Professor Amrit Sen, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Conference, and other guests of honour, who expressed their appreciation of the remarks by the Chinese Consul General.

Mr. Ma also lit up the mangal deep (the auspicious lamp) together with the other guests of honour.

In the afternoon, Consul General Ma paid a visit to a local village and the farm on the campus.

Consul Shao Yujin and Vice Consul Xie Chao attended the above events.

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