Speech by H.E. Mr. Sun Yuxi, Chinese Ambassador to India at the Reception to Celebrate the China-India Friendship Year
(By Chinese Embassy in India)

H.E.Mr. Shyam Saran, Foreign Secretary of India,

Distinguished guests and friends,

Ladies and Gentleman,

A very good afternoon to all of you.

Today, I'm very happy to have so many friends and colleagues come together to celebrate the China-India Friendship Year.

You may recall that, in April 2005, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid a landmark visit to India, which promoted China-India relations to a new high.

During his visit, our two countries have established the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity.

Premier Wen and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also declared the year 2006 as the "Year of China-India Friendship".

It is the first time for us to jointly launch such an activity in the 2,000-year history of exchanges between China and India.

Within this year, you will witness 40-50 programs to be respectively or jointly held by both sides.

These programs have a wide coverage in political, defense, economic and trade, culture and tourism, education, science and technology fields.

Here I would like to specifically mention some of the programs:

The leaders of China and India have exchanged messages to commemorate the Friendship Year six days before.

The exchange of high-level visits between the two countries is currently under planning.

The major China-India bilateral agreements and MoUs are going to be published.

Indian Defense Minister is planning to visit China.

A high-level business seminar will be held in both capitals.

The two sides are striving for the opening of border trade market through Nathula Pass within this year.

The two ministries of culture will exchange visits, and an Indian-style Buddhist temple in Luoyang and a Xuan Zang Memorial Hall in Nalanda are to be inaugurated.

The two sides will also host movie festivals and encourage joint production of films.

Major universities from the two sides will have a workshop on education cooperation.

The exchange of visits of youth delegations will be realized within 2006.

And this afternoon, you will enjoy the performance of Liaoning Peking Opera Troupe.

They came here to participate in India's National Opera Festival, which is another program of the Friendship Year.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and India are neighbors and friends.

Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai was the main rhythm of the China-India relations in the middle of last century, and China-India everlasting friendship is the long-cherished dream of the two nations and two peoples.

Facts already proved that only the two countries maintain peaceful and harmonious coexistence, understand, learn and support each other, could the 2 billion-plus peoples be standing mighty in the nations of the world.

I must point out that, the Friendship Year is not once for all, it is only a beginning of developing China-India friendship at a new level.

And I am sure that the friendship among 2 billion people will greatly help to build friendship among all nations in the world.

Thank you all!

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