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Remarks by Ambassador Ashok K Kantha on the occasion of the 69th Independence Day Celebration in Beijing
08/15/2015

Dear Friends,

The President of India has shared his profound thoughts with us and givenus his guidance on the eve of the 69th Independence Day of India.I will request you to go through the full text of Hon’ble President’s address tothe nation. 

Friends,in the context of China, I would like to take a few moments to recall andreview the distance that we have traveled together in the past few months.

Briefly,this has been a period of intense and productive engagement with China. As youknow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a landmark visit to China in May thisyear, within eight months of President Xi Jinping’s fruitful visit to India lastSeptember. Indeed, Prime Minister has met with President Xi on five occasionsand Premier Li twice over the last one year or so. Hon’ble External AffairsMinister also visited China in February. There has been a series of othervisits, events and activities. We have witnessed dynamic progress on multiplefronts in India-China relations.

 

Thisstepped-up engagement is based on a shared assessment that India-Chinarelations are poised to play a defining role in global affairs, and that thesimultaneous re-emergence of India and China as major powers in the region andthe world ought to be pursued in a mutually supportive manner. In India, weclearly recognize that our multifaceted relationship with China offers bothmomentous opportunities and significant challenges. While we seek to addressoutstanding issues, we are also convinced that China is potentially a keypartner in pursuit of our national development goals.

Thisclear-headed and pragmatic approach ensured that Prime Minister’s visitachieved substantial outcomes in diverse sectors, with signing of as many as 24G-to-G and 26 B-to-B agreements. We are vigorously pursuing implementation ofthose understandings.

Lookingahead, we have a busy calendar of high-level visits in both directions. We hopeto establish our Consulate General in Chengdu within this year. We have agreedto expand our defence exchanges and contacts, from the level of bordercommanders to highest echelons in two military establishments. Preparations arebeing made to hold the next edition of joint military exercise, Hand-in-Hand,in Kunming.

Wewill also witness dynamic engagement between our States and Chinese Provinces,which has now emerged as a key driver of India-China relations. The ChiefMinisters of Gujarat and Maharashtra accompanied Prime Minister on his visit toChina and sister city relations were expanded to more cities. The first Stateand Provincial Leaders’ Forum was held during the visit. It would become aregular mode of interaction.

Amajor priority for us will be pushing ahead with the developmental partnershipwith China. Our Make in India, Skill India, Digital India and Smart Citycampaigns have elicited encouraging response in China, and we hope to translatepositive intents into concrete actions on the ground. You would recall Hon’blePM had an intensive meeting with Chinese business leaders in Shanghai. Just afew days ago, Xiaomi launched its first Made in India phone, and I am certainthat many more such productive partnerships will follow. We will continue topursue close collaboration with China in the railways, energy and otherinfrastructure segments.

 

Theexpansion of people-to-people links, which constitute the social foundations ofIndia-China partnership, will remain another key priority for us. As you areaware, we celebrated the International Day of Yoga on a grand scale on 21st Junethis year in over two dozen cities across China and received enthusiasticresponse. A 200-member youth delegation from India is visiting China next week. As part of our Visit India Year in 2015,India will be the partner country in China International Travel Mart in Kunmingin November. I would like to specially mention that Prime Minister’sannouncement made during his visit on making the e-Tourist Visa facilityavailable to Chinese nationals has been implemented with effect from 30th July. I seek your support in spreading the word about this innovative schemewhich facilitates short duration travel to India for tourism, business, andmedical treatment. 

We areproud that the vibrant and growing Indian community in China is making its owncontribution to furthering the cause of India-China relations. The grandreception that was organized in Shanghai during PM’s visit testifies to theunity of the community and the fact that it has come of age in China. Iextend my felicitations to you on this event and look forward to more suchcommunity initiatives.

Inconclusion, let me thank all the dancers and singers who have graced thisoccasion today. The Embassy Ladies, Ms Veena Mardur, Mr. Naveen Sinha, studentsof the Indian Cultural Center, Ms Jin Shanshan and her students have all put intremendous effort. We look forward to a delightful cultural performance shortly.

I alsowelcome members of the media, students, professionals and other friends fromthe Indian community who have joined us this morning.  

Ifelicitate you once again on the occasion of the 69th Independence Dayof India.

Jai Hind!

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