Your Excellency Chairman Zhang Ping,
Your Excellency Vice-Minister Fu Ying,
Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to this reception that marks India’s 64th Republic Day. Your presence is a reflection of the goodwill and friendship that China and other countries of the world have for India and its progress.
2. We have just completed an India-China Year of Friendship and Cooperation that has taken our relationship forward. President Hu Jintao, NDRC Chairman Zhang Ping, Defence Minister Liang Guanglie, State Councillor Dai Bingguo, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Commerce Minister Chen Deming were among the notable Chinese visitors to India. From our side, Foreign Minister Krishna, Science & Technology Minister Ravi and National Security Advisor Menon made productive visits, while our naval ships made a successful port call at Shanghai. Apart from high-level exchanges, there was all round expansion of our ties. Trade remained stable despite global slowdown. People-to-people exchanges continued to grow as did our defence interactions. The presentation you have just seen captures the activities of a very satisfactory year.
3. In 2013, we have already made a rapid start with high-level interactions in the fields of finance, defence and capacity building. We have ambitious hopes for the India-China relationship and must meet the expectations of the world. I am confident that with your support and cooperation, we will be able to do so. I thank you all for being with us on this occasion and wish you all the best for the Chinese New Year.