Remarks by Ambassador Ashok K Kantha
at the Reception to Celebrate the 66th Republic Day of India
(26th January2015, 18:00 hours, Marriott North east Hotel, Beijing)
H.E. Mr. Liu Jianchao,Assistant Foreign Minister of China,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Itis a great privilege for me to welcome you all to the celebration of the 66th Republic Day of India.
Onbehalf of the Government of India, I would like to express our gratitude to theChief Guest, H.E. Mr. Liu Jianchao, who has honoured us today with his graciouspresence. Thank you,Excellency, for joining us this evening.
Iam also delighted to recognize the presence of eminent Indologistand Sanskrit scholar Professor Huang Baosheng, who has been honoured with theprestigious Padma Shri decoration by the President of India in the list ofawards announced yesterday.
Friends,the Republic of India came into being on 26th January 1950 with the adoption of ourConstitution. We have witnessed enormous development in the last 65 years and wehave consistently striven forward in our endeavour of nation-building andimproving our people’s livelihood.
Lastyear was a significant one in our history. We successfully held the largest everelections in the world,which resulted in the formation of a stable governmentwith a clear mandate,headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With thedevelopment goal in mind, as also leveraging India’s 3D advantage of Democracy,Demography and market Demand, we will continue to play an active andconstructive role in the comity of nations.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:
Lastyear was also a significant year in India-China relations. The new governmenthas made it amply clear that we attach the highest priority to developingrelations with China in an all-round manner.
Theyear was marked by visits in both directions of the highest leadership. Our VicePresident visited China barely a month after the new government assumed office.President Xi Jinping made a successful state visit to India in September 2014,which was characterized by an exceptional display of camaraderie between theleaders of our two countries. Our Prime Minister has already met President XiJinping thrice and Premier Li Keqiang once in the eight months since takingoffice.
Thesevisits and meetings have yielded substantive outcomes across domains. Trade andinvestment flows have expanded, and so have exchanges in political, strategic,defence and cultural spheres. New areas of cooperation, including industrialparks, railways and smart cities, have been opened up. We celebrated the Year ofFriendly Exchanges in 2014 as a part of which the Embassy and our Consulatesorganized the Glimpses of India Festival across 14 cities of China.
Lookingahead, this year is the 65th anniversaryof the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China. There isa clear mandate from our leadership to comprehensively expand ourbilateral cooperation. In the regional, multilateral and international context,we are ready to proactively identify areas and issues for mutual cooperation,in addition to closely consulting with each other on common challenges.
Withthis agenda in mind, we have several important engagements lined up for thisyear, including the visit to China of our Minister of External Affairs shortlyand of our Prime Minister later in the year.
Further,as decided by our leaders, we are going to jointly celebrate the “Visit IndiaYear” in China in 2015 and the “Visit China Year” in India in 2016. We will becarrying out a series of activities to promote tourism from China to India.
Letme reiterate that we will work with our Chinese friends to inject more substanceinto our strategic partnership to realize what our Prime Minister hascharacterized as “Inches to Miles – India China Millennium of ExceptionalSynergy”.