Vajpayee met three generations of Chinese leaders: Envoy (Lead)

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New Delhi : Condoling former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death here on Thursday, Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui said that the late Indian leader met three generations of Chinese leaders and credited him for taking the initiative of holding the special representative (SR)-level dialogue mechanism on the border issue between the two countries.

"Shri Vajpayee met 3 generations of Chinese leaders," Luo tweeted on Thursday evening after Vajpayee, 93, passed away at AIIMS here following a prolonged illness.

"During his trip to China as PM in 2003, he (Vajpayee) proposed establishing the mechanism of SR on the Boundary Question, and also donated an Indian style Buddhist temple in Luoyang City of China," the Chinese envoy said.

India and China share a nearly 3,500 km-long international border.

Luo also shared pictures of Vajpayee with former Chinese Presidents Mao Tse Tung, Deng Xiaoping and then with Hu Jintao during a 2003 visit to China.

In an earlier tweet, soon after learning of Vajpayee's demise, Luo said that the former Indian Prime Minister's contribution to India-China relations will never be forgotten.

"Deeply saddened by the passing away of the Honorable Atal Bihari Vajpayee," Luo stated.

"We will never forget his great contribution to China India relations," he said.