Chinese leader Liu Yandong, who is a member of the Communist Party Central Committee, a Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and the head of the United Front, is on an eight-day visit to India. According to Xinhua, during her meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the Indian Government “reiterated its position recognizing that Tibet Autonomous Region is an inseparable part of China and that India will not permit any person to engage in anti-China political activities in India.”

Liu is leading a Communist Party of China’s delegation to India and the Maldives. On January 8, 2007, she met with Indian Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan of the Rajya Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), and Minister of Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni.

The Indian Vice President “spoke highly” of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to India last year and that bilateral relations have reached a new height, according to Xinhua. He said that India and China’s development and progress will have a positive impact on the world. “He said the enhancement of India-China friendship and strengthened cooperation will not only benefit the two peoples, but also will be an important pillar of peace and development in the region,” Xinhua reported.

According to Xinhua, Liu Yandong told the Indian leaders that China is willing to make efforts with India to “actively implement the consensus reached between the top leaders of the two countries.” She also said China desired to strengthen cooperation and exchanges between parliaments of the two countries as well as between the political parties to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and to promote the development of a “strategic and cooperative partnership between China and India.”

Liu Yandong is the counterpart of the Envoys of the Dalai Lama in their talks with the Chinese leadership. The last round of talks between the two sides was held in February 2006.

The Indian news agency, PTI, reported on January 10, 2007 that Liu Yandong met with Tourism & Culture Minister Ambika Soni as part of the “bilateral effort” to promote tourism. “As a part of bilateral effort, a high level delegation led by Liu Yandong, Vice Chairperson of National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, also called on Tourism Minister Ambika Soni and stressed the need to strengthen relation between the two countries through tourism and cultural exchange,” PTI reported.

“Seeing the progress made in the India-China Friendship Year 2006, the year 2007 has also been declared India-China Friendship Year,” Minister Soni told PTI.