China extends Shanghai Expo invite to UPA chief Sonia Gandhi

Written by: Super Admin
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New Delhi, Apr. 13 (ANI): Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has invited Congress President Sonia Gandhi to attend the Shanghai Expo.

The Expo will kick start on May 1, and more than 190 countries are taking part.

The invite for the UPA chairperson was given to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during his recent visit to China.

Krishna personally handed over the invitation to Sonia Gandhi at her residence today.

Indian President Pratibha Patil is also expected to visit China next month and officials are finalising mutually convenient dates for the visit.

Gandhi visited China for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics ceremony in August 2008.

During the Olympics, the Chinese invited head of states from many countries like the US and the UK, but departing from protocol, they extended an invitation to the UPA chief.

Sonia had earlier accompanied her husband and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his historic China visit in 1988, which broke the ice between the two estranged nations, 26 years of the Sino-India war (1962).

Sino-Indian ties have been riddled by border tensions and a contentious visa issue.

There has been a visible bonhomie in relations between India and China, especially after the Cophenagen climate summit, where India, China, South Africa and Brazil (BASIC) took a unanimous stand on the climate change issue.

Recently, both countries decided to set up a hotline for their respective premiers to remain in touch.

The Festival of India is going on in China, and diplomats of both countries believe that Sonia Gandhi's visit will further cement ties and de-escalate tensions. (ANI)

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