New Delhi [India], August 2 (ANI): With India dropping Mandarin from its list of foreign languages included in the National Education Policy (NEP), China claims that it will affect the bilateral relationship between both countries.

Criticising the move, Zhao Gancheng, the director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, was quoted as saying by the Global Times, "As the border conflict is yet to subdue, the Indian government now wants to extend the lingering skirmish between the two countries to the education and cultural level, which is very dangerous... Cultural exchanges form the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship between Beijing and New Delhi, and if the base is sabotaged, relations are likely to deteriorate seriously."

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Though Mandarin was included in the draft version of the policy released in May 2019, the recently approved NEP has dropped Mandarin or 'Chinese' from its list of examples of foreign languages that can be taught in schools.

"In addition to high-quality offerings in Indian languages and English, foreign languages, such as Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, will also be offered at the secondary level...," the policy ready.

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India's move came amid the tensions between the two neighbouring countries along the Line of Actual Control that escalated following a face-off on June 15 in the Galwan valley leading to casualties on both sides.

India and China have held multiple rounds of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the matter. (ANI)

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