International Affairs



May I thank you sincerely for the greetings and good wishes you have brought from His Excellency President Jiang Zemin and the Government and the people of China to the Government and the people of India. We warmly reciprocate these sentiments. We have pleasant recollections of the visit of President Jiang Zemin to our country in 1996, the first ever visit by a Chinese Head of State to India. It was a landmark event in our relations.

China is an ancient civilization which has made magnificent contributions to the art of living, to science and philosophy and to the advancement of mankind. As a sister civilization in the East, India has had extensive contacts and exchanges with China over the millenia which have been not only mutually rewarding but enriching for the Asian and world civilization. However in the modern period both our countries as well as the countries of Asia have been the victims of colonialism and imperialism. Our common struggle against imperialism created strong feelings of sympathy and kinship between our peoples and their leaders. Even while India was still under British colonial rule the Indian National Congress at the initiative of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru sent a Medical Mission to China of which Dr. Dwarakanath Kotnis was a member. India is proud of the work of Dr. Kotnis in China and the Chinese people still cherish his memory.

Excellency, it was out of this civilizational kinship and this common anti-imperialist struggle that India - China friendship arose after our Independence and your Liberation. We were jointly responsible for the acceleration of freedom movements in Asia and Africa, and the organization of the Asian - African movement as a world force. It was India and China who jointly worked out the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence which form the bedrock of relations between States in the world.

We have a vision of our future relations arising from our past historical and cultural association, our friendship and co-operation in the 1950's and overleaping the misunderstandings that cropped up thereafter. We are confident, Excellency, that both our countries have the foresight and the wisdom to overcome all hurdles to mutual understanding and to continue uninterrupted our efforts to resolve our differences through dialogue. With goodwill, mutual understanding and appreciation of each other's interests and concerns there are no problems between us that cannot be resolved.

During President Jiang Zemin's historic visit to India, both sides agreed to develop a relationship of constructive co-operation oriented towards the 21st century. Growing co-operation in an increasing range of areas provides a new dimension to our relations. India and China have also agreed to focus on economic and technological co-operation. We must continue to strengthen our economic and commercial ties to realise their full potential. We must promote exchanges at the level of the peoples of India and China, to enable the common man in the two countries to acquire an appreciation of the bonds that unite our two great countries. These bonds do not impinge upon the interests any country in Asia or in the world. On the contrary we believe that they will contribute to friendship, and co-operation and peace and security in our region and in the world.

Excellency, you have been appointed the envoy of your great country to India at an important and historic juncture in our bilateral relations. You have rich and varied experience of having interacted with this part of the world. I am confident that India-China relations will witness steady improvement during your tenure of office as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to India. I wish to assure you of our fullest co-operation in the endeavour of enhancing understanding, promoting friendship and increasing co-operation between India and China.

I request you, Excellency, to convey my warm greetings and felicitations to H.E. President Jiang Zemin and our best wishes to the Government and people of China. China has made outstanding progress in the economic, cultural, scientific and technological fields. We wish the People's Republic of China continued success and prosperity. May friendship, co-operation and good-neighbourly relations between India and China steadily develop on the basis of Panchsheel during your tenure.

Thank you

Jai Hind