K J M Varma
Beijing, Jan 20 (PTI) BJP President Nitin Gadkari arrivedhere today on a goodwill visit, the first-ever by a head ofthe party, to interact with the country''s top leadership on ahost of issues, including the India-China relations.
The BJP chief was accorded a warm and cordial welcomeafter he arrived here for a five-day visit heading ahigh-level delegation of the party.
"I am glad to be in China to meet the Chinese leaders.China is our largest neighbour. We share a 3500 km longboundary with China. We also enjoy civilisational links whichdate back to over 1600 years," he said upon his arrival.
"Over the years our relationship has evolved, has grown,has matured, and it has become truly multifaceted. There isconsensus across the political spectrum in India forcooperative and cordial ties with the People''s Republic ofChina," he said.
He recalled the "historic" visit of BJP Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee to China in 2003 and said it was duringthat productive visit that the two countries agreed to haveSpecial Representatives of the Premiers of both India andChina on the boundary issue.
During Gadkari''s interaction with leaders of the rulingCommunist Party of China (CPC) a wide-range of issues ofmutual concern and bilateral interests will be covered, astatement said.
The BJP delegation will also visit Shanghai and Guangzhouduring its five day trip, it said.
In Beijing, Gadkari is scheduled to meet Li Changchun,one of the nine senior most leaders of the CPC and a member ofthe Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC.
Gadkari will also have wide-ranging talks on issues ofmutual concerns and areas of common interests with head of theinternational department, CPC, Ai Ping, it said.
The BJP delegation will have an interaction with theleaders of the Chinese People''s Association for Friendshipwith Foreign Countries (CPAFFC).
Gadkari will also meet with the Chinese Association forBamboo and Vine Industry leaders and visit the bamboo andagricultural products processing enterprises, it said.
He also plans to visit Yanqing County to study a newenergy development and recycle project in the rural area. TheBJP chief will also visit one of the largest solar powerplants in China and the new energy research institute.In Guangzhou, the BJP delegation will visit the localcommunity to study the party building at grass root level.
Gadkari''s delegation includes party general secretariesThawarchand Gehlot, Vijay Goel, joint organising secretarySaudan Singh, Secretaries Laxman Kova and Arti Mehra, hispolitical associate Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and joint convener ofthe party�s foreign affairs cell Vijay Jolly.