Remarks by Ambassador Ashok K Kantha on the occasion of the 65th Republic Day Celebration in Beijing
(24th January 2014; Beijing Raffles Hotel)
H.E.Mr. Li Yuanchao, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great privilege for me to welcome you all to the celebration of the 65th Republic Day of India.
Today, we also launch the Year of Friendly Exchanges between India and China which commemorates 60 years of Panchsheel or Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, jointly enuntiated by us.
I would like to express our deep gratitude to Chief Guest, HE Mr. Li Yuanchao, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, for his gracious presence today.
We are greatly honoured that Your Excellency has taken time out of your busy schedule to grace this occasion. This reflects the high importance attached by China to friendship between our two countries. It is a singular honor for me to welcome you to this event within three weeks of my arrival in Beijing.
The Republic of India came into being on 26th January 1950 with the adoption of our Constitution. Since then, India has successfully pursued the task of nation-building and development and played a constructive role in the comity of nations.
The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have underpinned our friendly relations with all nations. These principles constitute the basic guiding light for good relations among nation-states and remainrelevant today.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friendly relations between our two ancient civilizations extend over millennia. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China twenty-five years ago marked a new beginning for bilateral relations. Establishment of the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in April 2005 was another milestone in our engagement. Leaders of our two countries have nurtured this partnership.
Today, our two large countries enjoy a multidimensional relationship encompassing vibrant trade and economic ties,cultural and educational links, defence exchanges, people-to-people bonds, and international cooperation.
The year 2013 was a year of rich harvest inour relations. Shortly after taking over as China’s President, HE Mr. Xi Jinping had a productive meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in Durban. In May, Premier Li Keqiang visited India as part of his first official overseas tour. My Prime Minister visited Beijing in October, the first time in 59 years thatthe two Prime Ministers exchanged visits within the same calendar year.
This year, we would like to build on these strong foundations. We are taking the first step today by launching the India-China Year of Friendly Exchanges.
We are prepared to work with our Chinese friends to further enrich our strategic partnership and take it to a higher level. The world needs both countries to prosper together as friends and partners, supportive of each other’s aspirations.
On this positive note, may I wish this distinguished gathering a very happy and prosperous Year of the Horse!
I would now like to cordially invite ourChief Guest, HE Mr. Li Yuanchao to address us.