Speech on the Book Release: My Life with Kotnis
By Mr. Sun Xuxi, Ambassador of China to India
2006/08/30

His Excellency Mr. Gujiral, Former Prime Minister of India, Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for us to hold this function to release My Life with Kotnis, a memoir written by madam Guo Qinglan, Dr. Kotnis' wife.

I would like to extend my warm welcome to his Excellency Mr. Gujiral and all the friends who are present today.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Dr. Deepak, the translator of the English version of the book, the Manak Publications and all the people and organizations that contributed to the publication of this book.

China and India have maintained long lasting friendship.

The two peoples extended sympathy and support to each other in the war against invasion and fight for national independence.

Dr. Kotnis is an outstanding representative of them.

In 1938, he joined the Indian medical team organized by the Indian National Congress and arrived in China to help the Chinese people fight against the Japanese invasion.

He worked on the very frontline of the battlefield and gave medical treatment to wounded Chinese soldiers.

He died of illness owing to constant overwork.

Just as Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai said, "Dr. Kotnis is a symbol of the friendship between the great Chinese and Indian nations and a shining example of the Indian people, who are taking an active part in our common struggles against Japanese militarism and world fascism.

His name will live forever in the hearts of the two great nations to whom he dedicated his life."

In the book, Madam Guo Qinglan tells us about her first encounter with Kotnis, her marriage, the birth of their child and later the sad demise of Kotnis and her son.

More importantly, she tells us how Dr. Kotnis turned from a simple nationalist into a firm soldier against imperialism and a great friend of the Chinese People.

The release of the English version of My Life with Kotnis is one of the significant activities of the 2006 China-India Friendship Year.

I sincerely believe that this book will help us remember the precious fraternity shared by our peoples during times of difficulties and further strengthen our friendly ties.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Great changes have taken place to both our countries and the world after the World War II.

If Dr. Kotnis and his colleagues were still alive, they would be happy to know that both China and India are on their way to development and prosperity, and have achieved outstanding success.

The world is turning its eyes on us.

Dr. Kotnis and his colleagues would be even more pleased to know that the China-India relationship has seen remarkable progress in recent years.

Last year, we established the Strategic Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity, which marks a new era of our bilateral relationship.

We actively cooperate in economy, science and technology, education, culture and other fields.

We also have close cooperation and coordination in international and regional affairs.

Just as Rabindranath Tagore said, China and India have been enjoying time-honored and affectionate brotherhood.

I strongly believe that the friendship between China and India will last forever.

Let us join hands and work together for a more prosperous future and a new Asian century!

Thanks!

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