Ties between Bihar

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Patna, Mar 19 (UNI) The Yunan province in China and Bihar have decided to establish close socio-cultural ties between them as the regions have lots of similarities in different fields.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting between a seven-member delegation of the Chinese Peoples' Political Congress, led by its Deputy Chairman in Yunan region Yuan Zulian and state Chief minister Nitish Kumar here last night.

Announcing the proposed ties, to be formalised soon, both Mr Zulian and Mr Kumar hoped that since both the regions enjoyed similar socio-cultural background and economies based on agriculture and agro products, the new relationship would open a new vista of opportunity for closer bileteral relations.

If formalised, the tie would be the first of its kind in Eastern India, particularly in Bihar, official sources here informed.

Accepting a formal invitation from Mr Zulian and his team for a visit to Yuan province soon, the Chief minister hoped that following the signing of the agreement the number of buddhist tourists from Yunan and other parts of China to the Buddhist circuits in Bihar would increase manifold.

''The relationship between us would improve further following the coming up of the Nalanda International University, in line with the ancient university in that name, near its previous site in Nalanda in south Bihar,'' the Chief minister said hoping that a large number of Chinese students would also enroll themselves in the proposed university in different courses.

Echoing similar optimism, Mr Zulian showered huge praises on Mr Kumar for intitiating a bold step to re-start the world famous university and introducing a synthesis of modern and age-old schools of thoughts on different subjects besides roping in several world renowned academics.

He also said they had also decided to develop a large number of Buddhist sites in their country.

''We are also planning to introduce a Buddhist tourist circuit in Yunan province in line with the one developed in Bihar comprising Nalanda, Rajgir, Gaya, Bodhgaya and Vaishali,'' Mr Zulian pointed out.

Referring to the similar agrarian based economy in Yunan and the state, Mr Zulian said compared to Bihar's 80 per cent people, who were dependent on agriculture, about 67 per cent of the Yunananese population earned their livelihood from agriculture.

The other members of the Chinese delegation who arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit to the state, were senior officials of the Chinese Pepoles' Congress in Yunan.

Apart from visiting the entire Buddhist tourist circuit in the state, the Chinese delegation was scheduled to tour some other districts to learn more about the growth in agriculture here, official sources told UNI.

UNI ABA PP SS1452

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