Buddhist Times News – “write a new chapter in China-India friendship” says Sun Weidong

By  — Shyamal Sinha

China’s ambassador to India Sun Weidong on Wednesday said both countries, involved in a protracted border dispute in Eastern Ladakh, need to enhance mutual trust and strengthen cooperation to “write a new chapter in China-India friendship”.

The envoy was speaking at an event to commemorate the 110th birth anniversary of Indian doctor Dwarkanath Kotnis who served in China during the Chinese revolution led by Mao Zedong.

Delivering the speech titled “A Hero to Remember, A Monument to Eternity”, Sun said that he had the privilege to visit the family of Dr Kotnis in Mumbai during his first posting in India a decade ago. The diplomat further added that the celebrated physician shared joys and sorrows with the soldiers and civilians of the liberated areas and was deeply respected by the people of China. He stated that Dr Kotnis became a symbol of the two great nations joining hands to resist foreign aggression and colonialism, and pursue national independence and freedom.

“Over 70 years ago, China and India helped and supported each other in the struggle for national liberation and independence and forged deep friendship. Today, the two countries are facing the common task of achieving economic and social development and improving people’s livelihood. We need to enhance mutual trust and strengthen cooperation more than ever to write a new chapter in China-India friendship,” said Sun.

Speaking about the difficulties in bilateral ties, Sun said it is normal to have differences. “We need to put differences in an appropriate place in bilateral relations, properly manage and resolve them through dialogue and consultation and not allow differences to become disputes,” he said. “The exchanges and mutual learning between the two civilizations of China and India have a profound accumulation of more than 2,000 years. The common interests of the two countries far outweigh the frictions and differences. I believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, we have the wisdom and ability to overcome difficulties and bring bilateral relations back on track to forge ahead.”

Sun also paid glowing tributes to Dr Kotnis. “It is a spirit of heroism with no fear of sacrifice. Dr Kotnis, along with the medical team from India, went through untold hardships and travelled thousands of miles to Yan’an,” he said. “After he learned of his father passing away in India, Dr Kotnis endured great grief and continued marching to the battlefield without hesitation,” he added.

Referring to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Sun said, “As the only two major developing countries with a population of over 1 billion, China and India need to strengthen cooperation and tide over current difficulties together. It is of great significance in the global fight against the pandemic.”

“In the past few months, we have witnessed the exchanges of diagnosis and treatment experience between Chinese and Indian medical institutions, the donation of medical supplies by companies and friendly organizations, and videos recorded by young people and film stars of the two countries to cheer each other on,” he added.

He gave his precious life for the World Anti-Fascist War and the cause of China-India friendship. We will always remember him,” said the Chinese envoy, calling him a great internationalist warrior.

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