“China-India relations today are hard-earned and should be cherished all the more. The more difficulties and challenges in bilateral relations we face, the calmer and more rational we should be. So we do not undermine the overall relationship, said a Chinese top official in Kolkata on Monday.
“In recent years, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held two informal summits and reached important consensus. They emphasized that China and India offer development opportunities to each other and their friendly relation introduces a factor of stability in the current international landscape. We need to strengthen the closer developmental partnership between our two countries. China-India relations today are hard-earned and should be cherished all the more. The more difficulties and challenges in bilateral relations we face, the calmer and the more rational we should be, so we do not undermine the overall relationship,” said Zha Liyou, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kolkata, on the sidelines of hosting the Chinese New Year Celebrations over Zoom.
On this auspicious occasion, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China also released the book ‘CHINA and INDIA’, a commemorative volume celebrating the seventieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and India.
Further talking about the China-India relations, Zha Liyou said that the past 70 years have witnessed an extraordinary journey. “With joint efforts of successive leaders from both sides, China and India have established a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity. Although the development of China-India relations is not always smooth, friendship and cooperation have always been the lifeblood,” he added.
2021, the year of the Ox, symbolises honesty and good fortune through hard work. And when being asked to comment on bilateral relations, Zha Liyou said that diligent work in exchanges and cooperation at the sub-national level is an important pillar of bilateral relations and also the work focus of the Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata. “East India, where my office is located, is not only the political, scientific, educational, and cultural center of modern India but also an area where many major events of friendly exchanges between China and India have taken place in different phases of our history,” he said.
Talking about the Chinese community in Kolkata, he said that when it comes to the modern era, the connection between China and East India also runs deep. “Kolkata has the largest Chinese community in India, and Mr. Yang Dazhao, the first Chinese migrant to India, settled down in the southern suburbs of Kolkata. The city is also the hometown of Tagore, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature who visited China three times.
On sub-national exchanges, he said: “Since I took office as the fifth Consul General in Kolkata in January 2019, I have always put friendly exchanges and cooperation between East India and China as the top priority of my work. I have visited Jharkhand, Odisha, and Bihar several times. Wherever I go, I like to get deep into the local community to know about the life and work of ordinary people.”
“Due to Covid-19, my outdoor activities in 2020 have been greatly reduced, but I still keep in touch with many Indian friends. With the deepening of my understanding, I increasingly believe that sub-national cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between China and India have a great potential that can be tapped,” he concluded.
Looking into the future, he said that China and India are the only two ancient civilizations in the world with a population of more than 1 billion. “In the course of development, both countries have formed distinctive political systems and governance mechanisms, and made extraordinary achievements in national development, social governance, personnel training, education, poverty alleviation,” he added. The New Year event was attended by Mr. Priyadarshi Mishra, Chairman of Odisha State Housing Board, Mr. Sitaram Sharma, Former President of Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Kamal Prakash, Director of Jiwanram Sheoduttrai Group, Mr. Himadrish Suwan, Chairman of Confederation of Young Leaders, Ms. Rosalin Patasani Mishra, President of Parichay Foundation, Ms. Chaitali Das, Managing Director Trustee of Rakshak Foundation, Mr. Shahanshah Mirza, Descendant of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, Mr. Avijit Banerjee, head of Cheena Bhavan and Mr. M Gantait, Chairman of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis Memorial Committee of West Bengal.
Vote of thanks was given by Deputy CG Yu Xiong