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Remarks by Ambassador at the 67th Republic Day Reception 01/26/2016

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great privilege for me to welcome you all to the celebration of the 67th Republic Day of India.

The Republic of India came into being on 26th January 1950 with the adoption of our Constitution. India’s amazing diversity was pulled together on that day to build national unity, which has brought us so far. Since then, we have made enormous progress in our endeavour towards nation building and improving people’s lives.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

With the recognition that India-China bilateral relations are poised to play a defining role in the 21st Century in Asia and globally, our relationship achieved significant progress last year. The Government of India has made it clear that we attach a high priority to developing relations with China. The highlight of the year was the visit of the Prime Minister of India to China that was rich in both symbolism as well as substance. The momentum in high-level visits from both directions was maintained and the relationship progressed in a comprehensive way across a broad spectrum. There was progress on the economic field; defence relations picked up; people-to-people contacts was given a push.We successfully marked the Visit India Year in China to promote two-way tourism flows and this year is being marked in India as the Visit China Year.

Looking ahead, we are expecting another year of rich and productive exchanges. We are looking forward to more meetings between our leaders as well as exchanges at all levels. We also expect to continue with the momentum that we have established on dialogue mechanisms, besides continuing to strengthen people-to-people linkages.

Finally, let me reiterate our wish to work more closely with our Chinese friends to further enrich our strategic partnership.

On that note, let me take this opportunity to once again thank you and wish this distinguished gathering a very happy and prosperous Year of the Monkey ahead!