Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at the Interaction with the Yatris to Kailash Mansarover
2018/10/15

Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at the Interaction with the Yatris to Kailash Mansarover

Shri Tarun Vijay,

Dear friends,

Namaste!

Welcome to Chinese Embassy. It is my great pleasure to host this function to interact with Yatris to Kailash Mansarover. Most of you have just come back from the Yatra this year.

First of all, I would like to show my great respect for your determination, sacrifice, courage and faith. These qualities are essential for making your Yatra a great success. I know as a Hindu, making pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarover is a dream. You have spent a lot of time, money and overcome a lot of difficulties to realize your dream. I want to congratulate you all for your remarkable achievements.

You are not just Yatris, but modern day Indian “Xuan Zang” and friendship envoys between China and India. I hope you will tell your friends about your trip to China, and encourage more people to visit China, learn about China and eventually fall in love China.

Secondly I want to share with you some information about what governments and officials have done for your Yatra. The two foreign ministries as coordinate centers for Yatra affairs have done a lot of work. Chinese government respects the freedom of religion and understands the importance of the Yatra. Since 1954, Chinese government signed an agreement with the Indian government for the arrangement of Yatras. After that the Yatra affairs has witnessed ups and downs, but always moved forward. To help more Indian friends fulfill their dreams, the Chinese side has worked hard to open new pilgrimage route and expand pilgrim quota. In 2015, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi reached agreement for opening a new route through the Nathu La Pass.

In February this year, a working group from Chinese Foreign Ministry and Tibetan local government visited India. In July, a delegation from Indian Ministry of External Affairs visited China. They exchanged views with each other and jointly prepared for the arrangement of this year’s Yatra.

On the side of our Embassy, every year we are faced with heavy load of work related to Yatra visas. The visa officers have to work overtime and often late into the night to ensure timely issuance of the visas. Our headquarters in Beijing seasonally send two extra diplomats to the Embassy to help out Yatra visas. We have opened a green channel for Yatra applicants, and established a liaison hot line between Chinese Embassy and Indian MEA.

The Tibetan local government bears very heavy logistic works regarding the Yatra. Kailash Mansarover is located in remote areas. Despite adverse natural conditions, new reception centers and hotels were built, roads and bridges were constructed, professional guides and interpreters were trained, stay points and medical emergency service were prepared, and Indian chefs cooking vegetarian food were facilitated. Roughly for every three official Yatris there is one local staff facilitating them.

Thanks to our joint efforts and hard work, the number of Yatris has increased from several hundred in 1980s to more than 20,000 this year.

Friends,

Pilgrimage affairs are not only related to your personal spiritual life, but also a part of China-India relations. It plays a very important role for people-to-people interaction. After the Wuhan Informal Summit this April, both countries are implementing the consensus reached by our two leaders. In December this year, the first meeting on High-level People-to-People Exchanges Mechanism will be launched in New Delhi. The Chinese side will continue working closely with the Indian side on the Yatra affairs and further enhancing the mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples.

Time for Yatra is limited. But faith is beyond time. Through today’s function, we wish you can share with us your stories and suggestions, so as to make future Yatra an even greater experience.

Thank you.

Suggest to a Friend
  Print