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China clarifies move to shift Gandhi Jayanti event venue, says 'purely technical'

China clarifies move to shift Gandhi Jayanti event venue, says
Highlights

On October 1, China organised a mega celebration at the heart of Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country.

New Delhi: China on Saturday said the Indian embassy in Beijing was advised to shift the venue of an event to mark Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary on October 2 due to celebrations in the capital city on the occasion of 70th anniversary of the founding of the country.

Spokesperson of Chinese embassy Ji Rong, responding to a query on the issue, said the reason for the advice was "purely" technical, adding that Mahatma Gandhi is an important historical figure who led India to shake off colonial rule.

An event organised to mark Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary was shifted to the Indian Embassy premises last minute on Wednesday after the Chinese government "denied permission" to hold the event, according to Indian embassy officials.

The event was being organised at a public park in Beijing since 2005.

"I have noted the relevant report. We have learned that due to the celebration activities of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Indian embassy in China has been advised to hold this year's 150th birth anniversary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi somewhere else," Counselor Ji said.

"It's purely for technical reasons. Mahatma Gandhi is an important historical figure who led India to shake off colonial rule and win independence. He is widely respected in China and the world. The Chinese side welcomes the hosting of relevant events in China to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi," the official added.

Ji was responding to a query about reports of China "denying permission" to hold the Indian embassy event at Chaoyang Park of Beijing.

On October 1, China organised a mega celebration at the heart of Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country.

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