A spirit of bonhomie and friendship echoed yet again today during a special border personnel meet (BPM) on the India-China border at Nathu La Pass, located 14130 meters above the sea level in East Sikkim.
Nathu La is a historical landmarkof traditional old Silk Route that was used between the two ancient civilisations.
In 2003, with the thawing of Sino-Indian relations, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to China led to the resumption of talks on opening the border. ater in 2004, the Indian Defence Minister's visit to China led to the formal opening of the pass.
The opening, originally scheduled for 2 October 2005, was postponed due to last-minute infrastructure problems on the Chinese side. Finally, after a decade of talks, Nathu La was opened on 6 July 2006The border personnel meets play a vital role in enhancing bonhomie between the two countries along the Sino-Indian border. It is a vital platform for resolving local issues with view of enhancing peace and tranquility along the border.
Wednesday's meeting was held on the Indian side to commemorate India's 66th Independence Day.
Brigadier Ravi Jhaldiyal, Indian Army leader received the Chinese delegation led by Senior Colonel Wang Ji Ping at the historic Manekshaw Hall at Nathu La.
During the BPM, both sides reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen friendship and foster confidence with a view to enhance peace in the sector.
The border meetings between India and China began in 1995 and are normally held on January 26, May 15, and Aug 15.
The barrier of language was bridged by the bond of friendship as soldiers from both sides interacted with each other in cordial environment.
A joint cultural program was presented by artists of China and India, showcasing the folk culture of the region
Speaking on the occasion, Brigadier Ravi Jhaldiyal said: "It is annual feature here. It has started after two confidence-building measures that were put in place in 1993 after the Treaty for Border Peace and Tranquility. This border personnel meet is the outcome of these types of activity. It is one which takes place on the 15th of May on the Chinese side, and on the 15th of September on the Indian side."
"Along with that, if there is an issue on the border, then we have special flag meetings. On the national day of India or China, we have a special border personnel meeting. It helps to sort out local border issuesbefore they can escalate,"he added.
China's Senior Colonel Wang Ji Ping said: "The (cultural) event was very colourful. This action is conducive to peace and tranquility, and maintain the trust between the Indian and Chinese people".
The Nathu La pass is 54 kilometers east of Sikkim capital Gangtok and 430 kilometers from Tibet's capital Lhasa. In the winter, the pass is blocked by heavy snowfall. (ANI)