A 200-member Indian youth delegation comprising young professionals, students, scholars, athletes and artists is touring China as part of the efforts by the two governments to provide opportunities to their youths to enhance awareness and understanding between the neighbours. About 3,500 youths from India and China have visited the two countries since the annual youth exchange programme was initiated in 2006.
The youth delegation this year is visiting Beijing, Lanzhou and Dunhuang from July 2 to 9. They will visit universities, industry and commercial bodies, media organisations and infrastructure projects, besides places of cultural and historical significance, according to a statement by the Indian Embassy here. They will interact with academicians, business representatives, scientists, artists, media persons and experts from various fields and gain first-hand knowledge about the various facets of Chinese society and economy, it said.
Since 2006, a regular exchange of youth delegations has been conducted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and All-China Youth Federation. In 2014, which was designated as the India-China Year of Friendly Exchanges, the size of the delegation doubled from 100 to 200.
India's Ambassador to China Vikram Misri, who hosted a lunch for the visiting youth delegation on Wednesday here, said the two countries are preparing for an intense phase of bilateral engagements which included the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India later this year for his second informal summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Before that (Xi's visit) an intense calendar of engagements is coming up," Misri said.
During the first high-level mechanism on cultural contact and people-to-people exchange meeting between the then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi last year in New Delhi, youth exchange programmes were identified as one of the 10 areas for further cooperation.
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