Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at the Chinese National Day Reception Hosted by the India-China Friendship Association
2017/10/01

(September 30, India International Center)

Dear Mr. Bhaskaran, Mr. Sindhia, Mr. Anil and Mr. Fernandes,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Namaste!

Thank you for hosting today’s reception, and inviting me to join you for celebrating the Chinese National Day.

On behalf of Chinese government and people as well as my Embassy, I want to thank all the associations present here today for your long-time contribution to the China-India relations.

I still remember a trip with my colleagues to Uttar Predesh 27 years ago. We stopped over at three or four cities including Lucknow, Ahmadabad. In all of these cities, we were warmly received by the local friendship associations. With simple clothes and bare feet, they organized huge get-together and shouted “Hindi-Chini, Bahyi Bahyi”, which deeply impressed me.

After I come back Delhi again, I found that my Embassy’s engagements with the friendship associations are not as close as before. Friendship associations are not as active as before. I asked my colleagues and our Indian friends for the reason.

Their answers are different, such as official channel getting more and more smooth, no enough budget, weak internal coordination, and generation gap. I agree with all of these reasons. But I cannot accept the fact of association’s weakness, and the fact of the loosing engagement between my Embassy and associations.

When our bilateral relations are not well, we need friendship associations. That is very understandable. They can do what two governments cannot do.

Now our relations are on an upswing, friendship associations still remain important. China-India relations are comprehensive, and people-to-people interaction is a part of it. The activities of the associations can make the relations more colorful, more substantial.

Last week,I visited Bangalore. Upon arrival, I was delighted to find Mr. Bhaskaran at the airport to receive me. Mr. Bhaskaran helped me to arrange and attended my meeting with the Honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka. It shows the influence of the ICFA and himself.

A few months ago, when I was in Kerala, I met with the members of local friendship associations. Their passion for China-India relations touched me a lot. Today you host this reception, showing your consistent support for our friendship and cooperation.

We share the same mission, the same objective. That is to promote China-India friendship and cooperation. In the future, my Embassy and associations should closely re-engage with each other. Any function hosted by your side will have our support. We can co-host some functions. My Embassy will also organize more activities for the associations.

We also wish that your association will be more proactive, enhance better coordination among yourselves, and attract more young people to join your cause.

Friends,

In recent years, China-India relations have witnessed significant progress in political, trade and people-to-people exchanges as well as in international and regional affairs. Of course, we have some old and new differences. We need to handle them properly, focus on cooperation, and enhance mutual trust. On September 5th, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modiji held a bilateral meeting at Xiamen. They sent the clear message of reconciliation and cooperation to the world. They believe that the Elephant and the Dragon could dance together and that China and India could “make one plus one eleven”. This will guide us to turn the old page and open a new chapter of our relations. Right now, we are working together with the Government of India to implement the leaders’ consensus. I am quite optimistic about the future of our relations.

Today is India’s traditional festival “Dussehra”. Wish everyone happy Dussehra.

Hindi-Chini, Bahyi Bahyi

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