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Chinese sailors allowed landing at Indian port in a decade

By Zou Song (People's Daily)    09:22, February 27, 2018

New Delhi (People's Daily) - Some 10 Chinese sailors from cargo vessel "Houston" received a warm welcome on Sunday afternoon at the Port of Mumbai, which was the first time for Chinese seamen to arrive at an Indian port for a rest since the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai.

Due to terrorism and other issues, sailors of the vessels from several countries, including China and Pakistan, were excluded from landing at any Indian port in the last 10 years.

This unusual phenomenon was noticed by Zheng Xiyuan, Chinese general consul to Mumbai, when he arrived in Mumbai to assume his duties in 2015. Zheng had been reporting related situations and tried every effort to get India to allow Chinese sailors to land through diplomatic channels.

“It is very necessary to land and have a rest after a long journey,”said Captain Qiao Qinming of the "Houston," adding, "thanks to the negotiations between the two countries, we are glad to be the first batch of sailors to land at an Indian port.”

In 2017, China and India agreed to allow Chinese sailors at any Indian port for a rest, according to Zheng.

The welcome ceremony was seen as a special Spring Festival celebration for Chinese sailors.

Top image: Zheng Xiyuan (right), Chinese general consul to Mumbai, and Qiao Qinming, captain of cargo vessel "Houston", pose for a photo as they attend a Lunar Spring Festival celebration in Mumbai, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo from Chinese Consulate-General in Mumbai) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Liang Jun)

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