Sichuan - land of giant pandas, wine and food- showcased

"We have a splendid culture and centuries old history. There are five world heritage sites in Sichuan. India and Sichuan used to be at the juncture of Asian tea and silk culture. Indian tourists will have a memorable experience while touring Sichuan," Governor of Sichuan, Jiang Jufeng told reporters at a function here today.

The week-long event, 'Experience China-Sichuan Week in India' being celebrated in India from April 25 aims to introduce the fast-developing Sichuan province to Indians. Apart from being home to around 82 per cent of the world's giant pandas, Sichuan is also famous for its wine and cuisine.

"India and China have a lot of things in common, one of them being the world heritage sites. Our economies are also doing well. There is ample scope for tourism promotion between us," said Sanjay Kothari, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism.

This year marks the 'Year of China-India exchange' officially announced by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on April 13 this year in Hainan.

Ambassador of China to India, Zhang Yan had said it was an opportunity to bring the people of China and India together.

"Sichuan is famous for its delicious food and giant pandas. In Chinese culture, food is an art and not something that one has when he feels hungry. This week, Indian people will see this province closely through various events here," said Zhang.

The exchanges between Sichuan and India have been established for a long time now. India has become Sichuan's 6th largest trade partner and 4th largest export market. India had offered USD 5 million goods to aid disaster-hit areas when a massive earthquake struck the region in 2008.

A photographic exhibition, 'Enchanting Sichuan -- Charming China' has also been organised at the All India Fine Arts and Craft Society here.

It showcases 90 photographs reflecting the social, economic, cultural and natural diversities of the southwestern China's province, including the re-emerging Wenchuan, the city destroyed by a massive earthquake in 2008.

"People of Sichuan, who have long history of friendly and cultural exchanges with India, will never forget that the Indian government and people donated money and relief materials to them after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake," said Jufeng.

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