Beijing, Oct 23: After top-level talks between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, the two countries agreed to establish sister city relations on Wednesday between Delhi-Beijing, Bengaluru-Chengdu and Kolkata-Kunming to foster people-to-people ties.
In furtherance of their desire to promote closer engagement in the fields of public policy, education, health, science and technology, tourism and culture, the two countries have not only agreed to establish sister-city relations but also have expressed their intent to create mechanisms for its implementation.
With this regard, the two countries have also agreed to maintain regular contacts between the designated authorities from both sides to promote the initiative.
India and China have agreed to carry out cooperation in the fields of education, culture, sports, youth affairs, urban planning, waste-water management, infrastructure, environment, public health and exchange of trade and commercial delegations.
The sister-city agreement will undertake exchanges involving delegations, interactions between institutions and sharing of experiences in areas of mutual interest.
The Agreement does not create any binding obligations between the two countries.
The exchange activities will be undertaken in prior consultation with the respective national agencies, namely, the India’s East Asia Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and China International Friendship Cities Association (CIFCA).
The agreement also states that both parties will ensure that financial resources to support the exchanges and activities are available prior to their undertaking.
As general practice, it has been agreed that the sending party will bear costs of international travel, lodging and boarding, while the receiving party will offer local transportation.
The sister-city agreements remain in force for a period of five years, unless either party gives a written notice to the other party of its intention to terminate the Agreement at least three months in advance.
However, it has been clarified that the termination of the sister-city Agreement will not affect completion of the projects that are already in progress. Thereafter, the parties have the liberty to enter into a fresh Agreement for a further period of five years through friendly consultation.
Additionally, any dispute arising out of the interpretation, applications or implementation of any provision of the Agreement will be settled amicably through consultation or negotiation between the two countries. (ANI)