Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, April 14: Ma Zhanwu, the consul general of China in Calcutta, has invited the communist mayor from Siliguri, Asok Bhattacharya, to China to have discussions with mayors in China on challenges they face in their jobs.
Even though invitation to India communist leaders from China is not uncommon, Zhanwu's call comes soon after Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to visit China by the Chinese Communist Party and their government.
Zhanwu, speaking to the media after Bhattacharya called on him in Darjeeling today, said: "We talked about many things like how to promote exchanges between China and north Bengal and how to learn from each other in terms of facing the challenges that you meet in big cities, on urbanisation."
Extending an invitation to Bhattacharya, Zhanwu said: "It was my honour and privilege to invite him to visit China in the coming months to have discussions with mayors in China o how to solve problems that mayors would face both in China and India."
Lauding Bhattacharya on his role as a mayor, the Chinese diplomat said: "I believe mayor Bhattacharya has done a great job. He could also share his success with his Chinese counterparts."
Bhattacharya said even though he had not visited China in the past 10 years, he has been to the country four-five times. "I am very excited to get this invitation. I am very pleased," he said.