The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chinese on Sikkim tour

New Delhi, Oct. 15: A Chinese defence attaché along with his counterparts from some other countries will be part of a team that will visit Sikkim on a tour organised by the army headquarters.

Defence attachés of key missions are invited on the trip, which is an annual feature, to visit the eastern border in Sikkim. Interestingly, the Chinese defence attaché has been included in the team this time.

During Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s official visit to China a few months ago, the two countries had decided to open a trade point at Nathu-la in Sikkim.

The acceptance of Nathu-la as the Indian trade point has been interpreted by South Block as the first step by Beijing to fully recognise Sikkim as an integral part of India.

During the Asean Summit in Bali last week, which was attended by both Vajpayee and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, Beijing had informed Delhi about the removal of Sikkim from the website of the Chinese foreign ministry.

This was a significant step as it conveyed that Sikkim was no longer being regarded as a separate country by China.

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