BY SHRI K R NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING THE CREDENTIALS
MR. ZHOU GANG, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE OF THE PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, JUNE 1, 1998
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.
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.