New Delhi : China has started importing Indian rice for the first time in at least three decades due to tightening supplies and an offer from India of sharply discounted prices, Indian industry officials said. India is the world’s biggest exporter of rice and China is the biggest importer. Beijing imports around 4 million tonnes of rice annually but has avoided purchases from India, citing quality issues. The breakthrough comes at a time when political tensions between the two countries are high because of a border dispute in the Himalayas. “For the first time China has made rice purchases. They may increase buying next year after seeing the quality of Indian crop,” said B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association.