BEIJING: China today paid homage to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, describing him as an outstanding politician who made path-breaking contributions to the development of bilateral relations.
Vajpayee, one of India's most charismatic leaders and inspirational orators, died yesterday at the age of 93 in New Delhi.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "Vajpayee is an outstanding politician in India and has made path-breaking contributions to the development of Sino-Indian relations".
The Chinese side expressed deep condolences over his death to the Indian government and people and to the relatives of Vajpayee, the ministry said in the statement to PTI.
Premier Li Keqiang has sent a condolence message, the ministry said.
Vajpayee visited China in 2003 during which the two countries set up the Special Representative mechanism to resolve the boundary dispute.