Hailing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Mamallapuram for the second India-China informal summit as “historic”, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday said the visit is a continuation of trade and civilizational links that China shared with the ancient port city of Pallavas.
The visit not just brings pride to Tamil Nadu but has increased the respect for the state and Tamil language a notch higher, Palaniswami said and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for choosing Mamallapuram as the venue for the much-hyped informal summit between the two countries.
Mamallapuram, the ancient bustling port city of the famed Pallava kingdom, has had historical trade and defence ties with China that are nearly 2,000 years old, historians and archaeologists say pointing to several documentary and epigraphical evidences.
Historians have noted that the Pallava rulers converted Mamallapuram, 50 kms from Chennai, as the gateway for exports and imports from South East Asian countries, including China, centuries ago. Also coins with inscriptions of Chinese symbols have been unearthed from Mamallapuram during excavations, emphasising the age-old links that the port city and the communist nation had shared in the past.
“It is well-known that China and Tamil Nadu has had trade and cultural relations for centuries together. That there were links between Tamil Nadu and China and the then Pallava kings had travelled to that country is part of history. I feel it is fitting that Mamallapuram has been chosen as the venue for the summit,” Palaniswami said in a statement.
He also recalled the visit of former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to Mamallapuram and Kulipanthandalam village near-by. “The meeting between the two leaders (Modi and Xi) is a continuation of the ancient links between Mamallapuram and China. This visit is historic for India and I request people of Tamil Nadu to warmly welcome both Modi and Xi,” the CM said in the statement.
A flourishing port till about the end of 9th century, Mamallapuram was an integral part of the ‘Silk Route’ and ‘Spices Route’ of ancient China and India respectively.
It is also believed that the thriving silk industry in Kanchipuram was first established by the Pallavas, who imported silk from ancient China and developed an industry in their own kingdom.