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Will extend fresh invitation to Mamata, says China


Kolkata, Aug 17: A senior Chinese official in Kolkata said on Friday that his country will again extend invitation to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to visit China and the dates for the proposed visit were being worked out.

Mamata Banerjee

Banerjee was scheduled to visit China in June but she cancelled the trip abruptly hours before starting her trip on June 22. She attributed the cancellation of the visit to "non-confirmation of political meetings at the appropriate level".

She was to address a meeting of CEOs of Chinese firms in Shanghai in a bid to invite them to invest in West Bengal.

Ma Zhanwu, consulate general of China in Kolkata, said Banerjee's visit did not take place owing to "some technical reasons".

"But we are hoping that the future visit will happen. The dates are being worked out", Zhanwu told reporters in Kolkata.

He said the two countries need greater cultural and educational exchanges to promote better understanding and the Chinese consulate is supporting Durga Puja festival at Salt Lake in Kolkata, where artists from China would participate.

"West Bengal is not much-known to Chinese people, unlike other western parts of India. Kolkata was very-well known to Chinese people earlier. But that is not the case now. There is a problem of misperception," he said.

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