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Remarks by Ambassador Ashok K Kantha at the Reception to Celebrate the 66th Republic Day of India

H.E. Mr. Liu Jianchao,Assistant Foreign Minister of China,
Excellencies, Ladies andGentlemen,

It is a great privilege for me towelcome you all to the celebration of the 66th Republic Day of India.

On behalf of the Government ofIndia, I would like to express our gratitude to the Chief Guest, H.E. Mr. LiuJianchao, who has honoured us today with his gracious presence. Thank you,Excellency, for joining us this evening.

I am also delighted to recognizethe presence of eminent Indologist and Sanskrit scholarProfessor Huang Baosheng, who has been honoured with the prestigious Padma Shridecoration by the President of India in the list of awards announcedyesterday.

Friends, the Republic of Indiacame into being on 26th January 1950 with the adoption of our Constitution. We have witnessed enormousdevelopment in the last 65 years and we have consistently striven forward inour endeavour of nation-building and improving our people’s livelihood.

Last year was a significant onein our history. We successfully held the largest ever elections in the world,which resulted in the formation of a stable government with a clear mandate,headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the development goal in mind, asalso leveraging India’s 3D advantage of Democracy, Demography and marketDemand, we will continue to play an active and constructive role in the comityof nations.

Excellencies, ladies andgentlemen:

Last year was also a significantyear in India-China relations. The new government has made it amply clear thatwe attach the highest priority to developing relations with China in anall-round manner.

The year was marked by visits inboth directions of the highest leadership. Our Vice President visited Chinabarely a month after the new government assumed office. President Xi Jinpingmade a successful state visit to India in September 2014, which wascharacterized by an exceptional display of camaraderie between the leaders ofour two countries. Our Prime Minister has already met President Xi Jinpingthrice and Premier Li Keqiang once in the eight months since taking office.

These visits and meetings haveyielded substantive outcomes across domains. Trade and investment flows haveexpanded, and so have exchanges in political, strategic, defence and culturalspheres. New areas of cooperation, including industrial parks, railways andsmart cities, have been opened up. We celebrated the Year of Friendly Exchangesin 2014 as a part of which the Embassy and our Consulates organized theGlimpses of India Festival across 14 cities of China.

Looking ahead, this year is the65th anniversary ofthe establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China. There is aclear mandate from our leadership to comprehensively expand our bilateralcooperation. In the regional, multilateral and international context, we areready to proactively identify areas and issues for mutual cooperation, inaddition to closely consulting with each other on common challenges.

With this agenda in mind, we haveseveral important engagements lined up for this year, including the visit toChina of our Minister of External Affairs shortly and of our Prime Ministerlater in the year.

Further, as decided by ourleaders, we are going to jointly celebrate the “Visit India Year” in China in2015 and the “Visit China Year” in India in 2016. We will be carrying out aseries of activities to promote tourism from China to India.

Let me reiterate that we willwork with our Chinese friends to inject more substance into our strategicpartnership to realize what our Prime Minister has characterized as “Inches toMiles – India China Millennium of Exceptional Synergy”.

Thank You.