Speech at the Welcome Reception for the Team of Pilgrimage Journey of Xuanzang from CCTV
H.E. Mr. Sun Yuxi, Chinese Ambassador to India
2006/11/15

Good Evening,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am most delighted to attend today's function sponsored by FICCI, Sinosteel and Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in India(CCEI).

I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to their efforts to promote Sino-Indian relations, and my special warm welcome to the team of Pilgrimage Journey of Xuanzang from CCTV.

In China, all people including every child know the stories of Xuanzang's journey to India.

Over the past 1300 years, they have been told, performed, written and re-written generations after generations.

'Journey to the West' by Wu Chengen, a novelist in Ming Dynasty brought to the climax of the Xuan Zang legend.

In India, people remember Xuanzang for his 'Records of the West Regions during the Great Tang Dynasty'.

These two books have not only immortalized Xuanzang' s pilgrimage to India, but also immortalized the image of India as the western heaven.

Today, when we, equipped with modern transportation vehicles and communication technology, follow the footprints of Xuanzang and come to the heavenly land again, we could imagine how formidable the journey was more than one thousand and three hundred years ago.

In human history, there were three sorts of people, who had the courage to adventure long journeys.

The first category was warriors, kings or emperors like Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan.

They were motivated by expanding territory and conquering other states.

Their Empire ended up ruling, or conquering large parts of Eurasia, radically changed the demography and geopolitics of these areas.

The second was businessmen.

Driven by profits, they looked for larger markets and opened new trade routes. That was how the Silk Road came into being.

Extending over thousands of kms, it was significant not only for spreading the great civilizations of China, ancient Egypt, Persia, India and Rome, but also helped to lay the foundations of the modern world.

The last but the most admirable travelers were scholars. They include religionist, artist, writers, philosopher and etc.

They were taking incredible journeys and exploited the unknown land in pursuit of religion, art and truth. Xuan Zang was one of the best examples.

Surmounting countless hardships and hidden dangers, covering vast inhospitable land, Xuan Zang ultimately reached his destination.

This was a route spanning 17 years and 25,000 Kms, a route characterized by faith, perseverance and wisdom, a route reflecting the openness of a man and a nation, and a route witnessing the Xuanzang spirit and leaving valuable legacy for the world.

Owing to these reasons, Xuanzang has been remembered as a man of many parts: a Buddhist Monk, a traveler, a philosopher, a translator, as well as an outstanding messenger and promoter of culture exchanges among the nations of Asia.

During his journey, he introduced China to India and other Asian countries.

With his efforts, India sent the official envoys to China in 642 A.D., starting the diplomatic relations between India and China. So in my eyes, I see him as a great diplomat.

He could be regarded as my early predecessor, the first Chinese Ambassador to India who performed diplomacy at that time.

His footprints closely linked the two most populous nations in the world. His life and work are the best evidence of what China-Indian friendship stands for.

Today, when we get together to celebrate India-China Friendship year, to review Xuanzang spirit on this special occasion, I would like to compare Xuanzang to a torchbearer.

Underpinned by our centuries-old friendship, driven by extensive common interests, supported by millions of friends like you, I believe we would carry the same torch to shine upon our path ahead.

Let us join, hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder, and continue the historical journey towards a much better future!

Thank you!

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